Now that it owns Activision Blizzardand, by extension, Call of Duty, Microsoft plans to doaway with the shooter’s exclusivity deals.
On the newest episode of the OfficialXbox podcast, gaming head Phil Spencer said the shooter will have “100 percent parity” across all systems. “I don’t want you to feel like there’s content you’re missing out on […] that’s not the goal.”
Call of Duty has bounced between different deals for Xbox and PlayStation over the years. Xbox had timed exclusivity to DLC maps from 2010 to 2012, and thenPlayStation struck a similar (and ongoing)deal in 2015, with added timedexclusivity to online betas, in-game skins, and multiplayer modes.
Both companies heavily touted these timed windows in the marketing for specific games and their consoles. As the world’sbiggest shooter, Call of Duty has helpeddictate what console audiences will buy, making Microsoft’s anti-exclusivity stance a game changer.
“We have no goal of somehow trying to use Call of Duty to get you to buy an Xbox console,” Spencer continued. Citing the PlayStation’s recent timedexclusive beta access forCall of Duty: Modern Warfare III,he admitted it “[doesn’t] help the community,I don’t think that helps the game.”
“For Call of Duty players on PlayStation, and in the future, I want you to feel 100 percenta part of the community,”he continued.
In the months before Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard, Sony’s chief concern was that it would make Call of Duty an Xbox-exclusive franchise. Numerous times, Microsoft asserted that it had no desire (or reason) for that to happen.
To further prove its point, Microsoft struck various deals ensuring future games would be released on Nintendo and other platforms for the next ten years. Sony initially refused a similar offer, but the two companies later entered a binding agreement to keep the franchise on PlayStation.
Sony’s current exclusive (and lucrative) deal for Call of Duty will end with the franchise’s 2024 installment.