Xbox at Gamescom 2022

Xbox offered PlayStation a 10-year deal for Call of Duty, Sony declined to comment

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What you need to know

  • Microsoft is trying to purchase Activision-Blizzard for $69 billion dollars.
  • Sony is a huge opponent to the deal, travelling to regulators to speak out against the proposals, often using Call of Duty as a bargaining chip.
  • Microsoft has said that it offered Sony a 10-year deal for Call of Duty, up from the previous 3-year offer. 
  • Sony has declined to comment. 

A new report in the New York Times has given us an update on the ensuing drama between Microsoft and regulators over its $69 billion dollar merger with Activision Blizzard. 

Microsoft has been battling with regulators on both sides of the Atlantic to land approval for its megadeal for the creators of Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, and various other major games. Microsoft has said that the deal is more about mobile gaming, where Microsoft’s footprint is relatively small in an industry dominated by Chinese giants like Tencent. 

Merging with Activision would give Microsoft the tools it needs to bring Xbox games and Xbox developers to a completely new audience on phones and tablets. The growing mobile gaming segment has become a dominating force in many major economies, and there’s no reason to think it won’t also start to eat into the relatively static console market as well in the coming years. To that end, Microsoft seeks to bring titles like Call of Duty Mobile into the fold, while also supporting its nascent subscription service Xbox Game Pass with a bevy of new content, delivering games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for $10 per month alongside hundreds of other games, instead of picking up the game outright for $70, as is the current case. 

(Image credit: Activision)

One big opponent of the deal is Sony, who is Microsoft’s chief competitor in the console space. While most other publishers have generally said little to decry the deal, rival platform holders like PlayStation and Google have quietly (and not so quietly) expressed their “concern” to regulators that Microsoft could end up with too much power in the space should it seek to foreclose games like Call of Duty from their platforms. Microsoft has shot back, stating that it has no plans to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation at least, initially offering Sony a 3-year contract that would guarantee access to the game. PlayStation previously said that was not good enough. 

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