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Head of Xbox Phil Spencer Has a 'Desire to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation'

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer Has a 'Desire to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation' - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 February 2022 / 3,317 Views

Microsoft made a huge splash last month with the announcement it is acquiring Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion. This has lead some to wonder if Activision Blizzard games would become Xbox console exclusive in the future or if some would still come to PlayStation consoles.

Microsoft Gaming CEO via Twitter revealed he had calls this week with the leadership at Sony and confirmed Xbox's intent to honor agreements when the Activision Blizzard acquisition is complete. He also says their intent is to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles.

"Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony," said Spencer. "I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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59 Comments
Libara (on 20 January 2022)

Interesting he didn't clarify which CoD, think that alone tells us a lot.

  • +15
aTokenYeti Libara (on 20 January 2022)

The call of duty games that will be staying on PlayStation: Warzone and the back catalogue

The call of duty’s that would only come to PlayStation with heavy strings attached: the future standalone releases


And I think his use of the word “desire” here is telling. Microsoft clearly wants something out of PlayStation to keep the future titles on that platform, and I am not sure Sony will want to pay that price, whatever it is. The obvious candidate seems to be gamepass

  • +8
Otter aTokenYeti (on 20 January 2022)

Removing existing games from the platform was never in the question, this is so clearly not about that lol

  • +3
SecondWar aTokenYeti (on 20 January 2022)

I keep seeing people mentioning this idea of Gamepass coming to Playstation. It’s just not going to happen.

  • +2
Imaginedvl Libara (on 20 January 2022)

This is pretty clear to me :)

  • Existing COD + existing contracts are going to be honored.
  • And they have the desire to have COD on Play Station... But will only happen if Sony let GP on the system

    And it was probably one thing they 'talked' about during those calls :)
    The 'desire' part is pretty obvious ahah

  • -9
Otter Libara (on 21 January 2022)

It wouldn't make sense to clarify which COD since future games haven't been announced yet and nothing is set in stone until the acquisition is done.

  • +4
smroadkill15 (on 20 January 2022)

It sounds like to me, the CoD franchise will go the route of Minecraft and stay the multiplatform for future releases, I could be wrong, but I think that's what will happen. Other franchises like; Overwatch, Diablo, Crash, Spyro, etc. will probably be exclusive after the deal finishes.

  • +4
twintail smroadkill15 (on 20 January 2022)

I think inevitably mainline CoD won't be on PS. For the foreseeable future we can only assume that Sony tied up marketing agreements for CoD, which is not unexpected since this has been done in chunks of 4 - 5 years, rather than yearly.
That said, Warzone is most likely stay, so it comes down to what kind of CoD player you are: battle royale OR SP with traditional MP.

  • +1
smroadkill15 twintail (on 20 January 2022)

That could be a possibility too. Sony may have a CoD deal lasting X amount of releases and then after that anything can happen. We'll just have to wait and see.

  • -1
Otter twintail (on 21 January 2022)

Its unlikely otherwise Phil would have just said the part about honouring contractual agreements.

  • 0
TheTitaniumNub (on 20 January 2022)

Only time will tell what happens next...

  • +3
Kakadu18 (on 20 January 2022)

Lets see for how long he will think this way or if this is just about Warzone.

  • +3
aTokenYeti Kakadu18 (on 20 January 2022)

The way I see it, there are two ways this statement can be interpreted:

  • At face value, which is to say he means future call of duty franchises are launching on PlayStation, business as usual more or less. Maybe they negotiate a slightly lower cut than the 30% PS normally gets. Or

  • He is talking mainly about Warzone, and he’s going to use the future standalone titles are a bargaining chip for fairly severe concessions out of Sony, far more than just a slightly reduced cut. Anything from having platform fees waived to launching gamepass on PlayStation, with the expectation that Sony will decline. He can then say “well we desired to have COD on PlayStation and we kept that promise with warzone, but Sony made it not possible for the future titles” or something to that effect.

    Based on what happened with Bethesda I tend to lean towards the latter, but over the last few hours I have heard compelling arguments for the former. It could go either way

  • -1
DonFerrari aTokenYeti (on 21 January 2022)

The key word here is -desire-. They can say they desire all they want without that really being a commitment, and if the game don't launch they will say that it wasn't possible and give some silly reason like to protect the userbase from hackers, hate discourse or whatever the game needed to be played on Xbox Gold or whatever name and Sony didn`t allow it.

  • +1
scrapking DonFerrari (on 22 January 2022)

You need an EA account to play EA games, and an Ubisoft account to play Ubisoft games (or that's at least true of some of them).

Perhaps a day will come where you need a free Xbox account to play Bethesda/Activision titles on PlayStation. I think you already need a free Xbox account to play some Microsoft first-party games on PC, so this isn't far-fetched to me at all.

  • -1
DonFerrari scrapking (on 24 January 2022)

I don't know if it is mandatory, but I was in a party yesterday with a Minecraft PS4 edition installed and it had the opinion to enter with MS credentials.

  • 0
Kakadu18 DonFerrari (on 24 January 2022)

I didn't need to log in with my Microsoft account in Minecraft on my Switch.

  • 0
DonFerrari Kakadu18 (on 24 January 2022)

We were able to play without MS account, just said it offered the option.

  • 0
SanAndreasX (on 21 January 2022)

He may “desire” it. Nadella may not.

  • +2
loy310 (on 21 January 2022)

he dont have a choice, he needs to butter up anti trust regulators, saying these thing publicly will make them think MS will play fair with competition and allow the acquisition to go thru.

  • +2
DonFerrari (on 21 January 2022)

Desire or commitment?

  • +2
The Fury (on 20 January 2022)

A lot of Activisions money comes from sales of CoD or other games whether directly or in microtransactions on other platforms, MS head aren't going to let Xbox division spend 70billion just to ditch a large revenue stream. Infact I would say it would be beneficial for them to look into adding Warzone to Switch.

  • +2
JackHandy The Fury (on 20 January 2022)

Right, but COD people are so die-hard that they will buy an Xbox to play it. It's not like they're just going to quit playing. So it would be better to make it exclusive.

  • -1
Otter JackHandy (on 21 January 2022)

A decent % of COD players are likely under the age of 18, buying a new system after already investing in one is probably not even within their budget. The hardcore fans are probably a much smaller % then the casual ones.

  • +1
AkimboCurly Otter (on 21 January 2022)

this is true but you're at the start of a new generation here. The switching costs between console manufacturers are at their lowest

  • -1
Otter AkimboCurly (on 21 January 2022)

We won't be at the start of the generation when this comes into play. Likely PS5 will be a 50m units minimum by the time an Xbox exclusive COD would be ready (fall 2023 at the earliest)

  • +1
JackHandy Otter (on 21 January 2022)

True. But you can sell a used PS5 online right now for far more money than a new Xbox. So I don't think that would be much of a problem for the COD-only type.

  • -1
loy310 JackHandy (on 21 January 2022)

Call of duty is not a core gamer franchise, its a casual gamer franchise. They can't relay on COD casuals to come over when PS still have a huge casual audience with fortnite .

  • +2
Heavenly_King (on 21 January 2022)

Also because it sells the most on Playstation. they would loose billions.

  • +1
zero129 Heavenly_King (on 21 January 2022)

You do know thats mostly since the xbox360 CoD players skipped X1 and went with PS4 right?, they will go where ever the game is and if the game becomes exclusive it makes their choice between a PS5 or Series s/x that much easier.

  • -1
Heavenly_King zero129 (on 22 January 2022)

The lastest CODs of that generation only had a difference of 3 millions or so in favor of 360. The competition between the 2 was similiar. PS4 gen was a massacre in favor of PS4 and with PS5 it will remain the same. People dont want xbox is very simple.

This is not about depriving Sony of games; M$ also doesnt not care anymore about the sales their consoles anymore. this is just for the gamepass for android and iphone/iOS/PC users so they can have gazillions of subscriptions.

  • 0
Hiku (on 20 January 2022)

AND keep Call of Duty on PlayStation?
Interesting wording, as it insinuates CoD games for the future. I can't say I expected that comment. But that undoubtedly means they've already been discussing some form of deal. Basically Sony has to pay in some way to get the rest of the CoD games beyond the ones already bound by contractual agreements. Gamepass on PS5 could be one thing they discussed. But I still don't think CoD is enough to get Sony to accept GP on their system. Even though I would like to have that on PS5 personally.

  • +1
hiccupthehuman Hiku (on 20 January 2022)

I personally don't see Sony accepting GP either, given the rumors of Sony working on their own gaming subscription prove to be true.

  • 0
Hiku hiccupthehuman (on 20 January 2022)

From what I heard of that rumor, that was supposed to be bundling PS Now into a PS+ subscription tier. Basically, if you pay a bit more than usual for PS+, you also get PS Now included.
If that's the case then I think calling it "Sony's version of GP" has been an exaggeration. I don't really see Sony doing something like GP, because they likely have to lose money for years before making something like that profitable.

  • +4
CaptainExplosion (on 20 January 2022)

I don't care what he does with Call of Duty. What I wanna know is what will he do with Warcraft, Crash and Spyro.

  • 0
Otter (on 20 January 2022)

Guys he's referring to the franchise as a whole, the desperation to spin this into war zone only is bizzare... accept that future exclusivity is not a given for the massive IPs which have a large audience on playstation, MS has told us like a dozen times and not once contradicted themselves.

  • 0
mjk45 Otter (on 20 January 2022)

Sony may well have a multi year contract regarding Call of Duty who knows I don't,and only time will tell, there are a lot of factors that could play out that move the dial one way or the other and some of them might take a fair while to come into play.

  • +2
Otter mjk45 (on 21 January 2022)

Possible but then Phil would just leave it at the contractual agreement, better yet there would be little reason to make this tweet. But yeah, you're correct in that we have to wait to see how things play out. I've been saying this a lot and people thought it was ridiculous/me being in denial until now. Same will apply to Elderscrolls VI which still has no platform announcments (although I think thats more likely to be a full exclusive)

  • +1
UteGuy (on 20 January 2022)

Interesting he says this after senate approves a big antitrust bill targeting big tech. Also direct criticism on Twitter from one of them over the deal concerning competition. Probably bad timing by MS.

  • 0
AkimboCurly UteGuy (on 21 January 2022)

Well yes but by all methods competition authorities have historically used, (HHI, etc) this deal would not be intervened with.

  • 0
UteGuy AkimboCurly (on 21 January 2022)

True, but much of the hightened scrutiny presently on big tech is due to some of the historical mergers being approved when they now feel they shouldn't have been. Such as Facebook acquring Instagram. This will be pretty new territory and may be approved with compromises.

  • -1
Moseskyle83 (on 23 January 2022)

The thing that has me wondering is how may console fans well call of duty fans would jump over to Xbox considering gamepass can save the average gamer a lot of money. If you really think about it gamepass ticks all the boxes for gamers n a way to save so much money. now if mummy is gonna get Johnny the new console n she hears you dont have to buy most of the popular games the kids play as she only needs to buy gamepass this is gonna really shift Microsoft into a really good position with the soccer mums and even casual gamers who game on a budget

  • -1
zero129 (on 21 January 2022)

So for the people saying PS sales are higher for CoD. Wasnt the sales higher on Xbox in the 360 gen?.
CoD fanbase are not exactly loyal to brands, so id imagine if the game was once again made exclusive expect a big jump back to xbox just like they did from 360 to PS4.

  • -1
Heavenly_King zero129 (on 22 January 2022)

The lastest CODs of that generation only had a difference of 3 millions or so in favor of 360. The competition between the 2 was similiar. PS4 gen was a massacre in favor of PS4 and with PS5 it will remain the same. People dont want xbox is very simple.

Halo is selling like crap if not they would already released numbers and saying how an excellent performance the game is having; just tmaybe....... maybe.....it could be because of Gamepass but MS would already say the gazillions of hours played, the quantity of "craigs" killed. But M$ are not showing anything and you know that if M$ had some numbers in favor they will spin those number to make it seem a success.

This is not about depriving Sony of games; M$ also doesnt not care anymore about the sales their consoles. this is just for the gamepass for android and iphone/iOS users so they can have gazillions of subscriptions.

  • 0
AkimboCurly (on 21 January 2022)

I mean the game has massive revenue. What absolutely can't be understated is that putting it on gamepass massively cuts their revenue already. They're not shy to take big losses to secure future revenue streams.

Which strategy maximises revenue going forward? Which strategy (especially early in the generation) locks the most players into their subscription service? It's exclusivity. I suspect Sony have marketing deals sorted until around 2024

  • -1
3sexty (on 21 January 2022)

It is prob likely that COD warzone remains on the PS platform along with any contractually agreed release for 2022/3 but then stand alone COD games to become tied into Gamepass exclusivity beyond this timeframe. Otherwise why would you spend close to 70B just to maintain the current status quo. The end game is Gamepass subscription growth..

  • -1
Ashadelo (on 20 January 2022)

So what he is saying is that M$ won't pull the CoD franchise off from PS seeing as there has been over a dozen releases?

  • -1
Hiku Ashadelo (on 20 January 2022)

I don't think it is related to how many releases there have been per say, but more because it is a good bargaining chip, and possibly to ease up on talk of anti-trust concerns.

  • +1
Azzanation (on 21 January 2022)

Bad guy Phil at it again

  • -5
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 20 January 2022)

Fart number 7

  • -7
Azzanation ClassicGamingWizzz (on 21 January 2022)

News of the month, "Gamer who hates Xbox, hates Xbox news."

  • -6
ClassicGamingWizzz Azzanation (on 21 January 2022)

I dislike phill and i dislike microsoft eating everything, i dont hate xbox i just prefer other brands. Ya got that?

  • 0
Azzanation ClassicGamingWizzz (on 21 January 2022)

Correction, guy hates CEO of Xbox, hates Xbox news. Same shiz.

  • -4
ClassicGamingWizzz Azzanation (on 21 January 2022)

Oh stfu seriously

  • -2
Azzanation ClassicGamingWizzz (on 21 January 2022)

I mean, you are in an article you don't care about

  • 0
dane007 (on 20 January 2022)
  • -14
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