The Call of Duty license now belongs to Microsoft. Redmond will release the next three guides for PlayStation, with Activision-Blizzard being contracted to join Sony. After that, the saga may well become an Xbox exclusivity.
Microsoft acquired Activision-Blizzard on January 18, 2022 for $ 68 billion. Redmond has thus become the owner of licenses like Warcraft, Candy Crush… but most of all, Call of Duty. Then the question arises: what is the future of franchising?
Call of Duty has been an Activision-Blizzard goose for over fifteen years. Each title will be released for PC as well as Xbox and PlayStation. Fans playing on the Sony console after taking over Microsoft are worried. Can they still enjoy their favorite license? Today, we have the beginning of the answer.
The next three Call of Duties will be released for PlayStation
The situation is still unclear about the future of the license, but the famous Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier went to investigate what awaits us. That’s what he claims Microsoft has a contract with Sony. This is an agreement between the Japanese manufacturer and Activision-Blizzard prior to the acquisition.
This agreement stipulates it the next three Call of Duty must be released for PlayStation. This will take us to 2023. In fact, three games are currently under development: Modern Warfare 2, scheduled for release at the end of the year, a second episode at the end of 2023, and a new version of Warzone. The latter is only planned for the new generation of consoles and would arrive in 2023 as well.
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The agreement does not go further. In practice, this means that after that Call of Duty is no longer forced to be released on PlayStation and therefore it may become Xbox exclusive. Nothing has been done yet. Bloomberg is also talking about giving up the annual release (the first since the second installment in 2005). This event may represent the break the series needs to renew itself, but also an opportunity for Microsoft to look at the way it distributes its game.
Note that we found the same scenario last year. Bethesda had signed agreements with Sony before Microsoft bought it. Thus, Deathloop is PlayStation exclusive, while the game belongs to Redmond. The same goes for the upcoming Ghostwire Tokyo.