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Microsoft Offered Deal to Sony to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 Years

Microsoft Offered Deal to Sony to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 Years - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 21 November 2022 / 4,105 Views

Microsoft has told The New York Times it offered a deal to Sony on November 11 to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 years. Sony has declined to comment on the reported offer.

The future of Call of Duty has been the main focus for Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard and whether or not it will still release on PlayStation.

So far only Saudi Arabia and Brazil have been confirmed to approve the deal. Microsoft said it expect Serbia to approve the deal soon.

Microsoft Offered Deal to Sony to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 Years

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer recently stated he and Microsoft are willing to "make a longer-term commitment that Sony and regulators would be comfortable with." 

Spencer added they would run Call of Duty the same way they run Minecraft, but keeping it multiplatform despite not having deals with Sony or Nintendo to keep the IP on the PlayStation or Nintendo Switch.

"I will say, for things like Minecraft — which is my kind of go-to example, because I think we’ve run Minecraft the way that we would run Call of Duty if we were to close this deal — we don’t have a multi-year deal with Sony or Nintendo to put it on those platforms," Spencer said at the time.

"There seems to be some notion that you have to have some long-term structure in order to continue to support those other platforms. We support Minecraft on those platforms because of how people should analyze this deal, which is about customers."

This follows Spencer saying in September that Microsoft signed an agreement to Sony that will keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles for "several more years" beyond the current Sony deal. 

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan in response to the agreement said it is "inadequate on many levels." The current deal Sony has with Activision is expected to run until 2024.

Microsoft Offered Deal to Sony to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 Years

The European Commission earlier this month stated it has opened up an in-depth investigation into Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. 

The Commission has expressed concerns the deal if approved might reduced competition in the video game markets of consoles and PCs, as well as for PC operating systems. One of the concerns is that Microsoft might limit access to Activision Blizzard games, including Call of Duty, and might stop these games from releasing on rival video game consoles. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has also expressed concerns and in its more in-depth Phase 2 investigation has set a deadline of March 1, 2023 to publish its final report and decision on Microsoft's proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition.


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 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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75 Comments
y2jarmyofficial (on 21 November 2022)

Come on Sony ! This is way more then fair , for a company that only is doing this because of the investigation (ms)

  • +6
Runa216 y2jarmyofficial (on 22 November 2022)

You know what would be even more fair? If Microsoft didn't use the unlimited money cheat code to win and instead invested in creating games of their own instead of just, you know, buying successful shit.

  • -8
y2jarmyofficial Runa216 (on 22 November 2022)

What would be fair is for sony to make more money then. Wasn’t that Sonys advice if we couldn’t afford a ps3 at launch?hey people say go get more games . And Sony did the same when they started only Sony is pissed because Microsoft is looking like a one man treasury in contrast to Sony

  • +4
Runa216 y2jarmyofficial (on 22 November 2022)

I love that you are getting upvoted while I am getting downvoted when your comment is 'sony should make more money'. you know Playstation has regularly sold more than Xbox, right? Even at their worst the PS3 outsold the 360, which was microsoft at their best. microsoft is a larger company outside of gaming and that's where they're getting all their money.

I don't mind that you have a preference but at least be consistent or try to factor in context or nuance or something instead of assuming everything is cut and dry.

  • -4
y2jarmyofficial Runa216 (on 22 November 2022)

Also if you are saying sony doesn’t do the same thing well isn’t naughty dog a independent studio before sony got them, same thing with gorilla game makers of kill zone and horizon zero, what about bungie and isonamic ? So sony didn’t made these right? They are bought just like ms is doing now but in a whole new level that sony can’t match $

  • +3
Runa216 y2jarmyofficial (on 22 November 2022)

Not the same thing but I'm kinda sick of writing out the explanation every time people use false equivalence fallacies.

  • -3
y2jarmyofficial Runa216 (on 22 November 2022)

Sure it’s the same you’re talking about unfair to throw money at companies you never made to invest in something new here’s a nice link for you to show which companies Sony build and which were in your words unfairly bought

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/a-look-at-playstations-games-and-studios-following-sonys-bungie-acquisition/1100-6500143/

well I gave you a few examples.Who is talking about Xbox 360 sales . And you sick of writing because it’s getting harder to counter me. If that’s so like you im kinda sick of writing out the explanation every time people use false information or a exaggerated info to try win a argument. In conclusion Sony or Microsoft are not blameless in this practice . Difference is one has a bigger wallet… a lot bigger

  • +5
smroadkill15 y2jarmyofficial (on 22 November 2022)

When Xbox doesn't do enough, they don't care about gamers. When Xbox is actually competing, they are taking over the industry. There is only one right way to do things and it's the Sony way because well...Sony is for the gamer and MS doesn't care or whatever.

  • +4
y2jarmyofficial smroadkill15 (on 23 November 2022)

? That sarcasm? I really had to ask based on how you responded.if so I agree if not then I’m confused

  • +2
smroadkill15 y2jarmyofficial (on 23 November 2022)

It is lol

  • +1
y2jarmyofficial smroadkill15 (on 23 November 2022)

Ah ok lol go it

  • +2
Qwark y2jarmyofficial (on 23 November 2022)

Sony basically made Insomniac into what it is, since they funded pretty much all of their successful games before they bought them. Same goes for a lot of other studios they bought. Both Housemarque and Insomniac third party efforts didn't go that well for them.

  • -1
y2jarmyofficial Qwark (on 29 November 2022)

Lol not a good comeback maybe a weak one. Not a good reason . In that case ms should get bungee since we partnered longer with more projects right? No Sony bought them so it’s fairly theirs . Like how Activision will be soon .fyi Serbia just approved ms to buy Activision !

  • +1
shikamaru317 Runa216 (on 22 November 2022)

They are doing both, as is Sony. Sony has made recent moneyhat acquisitions such as Bungie, while Xbox is growing their own 1st party naturally by expanding studios they already own. Studios such as Obsidian, inXile, Compulsion, Zenimax Online, and Playground (each of which has seen substantial growth in size over the last few years). Xbox is ramping up their current 1st party studios to make them more viable, but is also looking to buy more studios, just as Sony is.

  • +5
EpicRandy Runa216 (on 22 November 2022)

Investing $70B to build up new studio, is that even possible?
Maybe, they'll need to be aggressive as hell with hiring practice $70B can hire 35k worker with a $200K/year for 10 years.

Wouldn't be MS doing aggressive talent acquisition from Sony/Nintendo/ 3rd parties studios, rising salaries, cost of development and length of development be worst than simply buying an established entity?
Ask Borland how it went for them when MS used massive investment to build new business: https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/borland-sues-microsoft-over-brain-drain/

Of course Sony and others would be able to sue for anti competitiveness of draining talents out of them and rightly so. Expect the issue to be resolved some 10-15 year down the line with an equivalent to a slap on the wrist for MS or be settled out of court for peanuts.

At least, with this route, you would still have your MS as no games arguments for a few more year than if the acquisition goes through I guess.

  • +1
y2jarmyofficial EpicRandy (on 22 November 2022)

Few months not years.starfield,redfall and forza are due

  • +1
EpicRandy y2jarmyofficial (on 22 November 2022)

I was speaking in an hypothetical scenario were MS did not buy established entity but used the same amount of investment on building new one.
But yeah, I also believe the next few months will prove MS made the right move.

  • +1
y2jarmyofficial EpicRandy (on 22 November 2022)

Oh got ya

  • +1
LudicrousSpeed Runa216 (on 23 November 2022)

This is a nonsensical point of view and your label of “unlimited money cheat code” is especially hilarious given your love of Sony.

Apparently you forget Sony entering the industry using their huge fortune and sway from their electronics market to disrupt the video game industry and pave the way for their gargantuan success. Whether it was:

Eating huge losses on hardware
Offering publishers big deals on licensing costs
Buying games and sequels via moneyhat deals

To competitors like Sega or Nintendo, you could just as easily describe what lead to Sony dominating those next two generations, an “unlimited money cheat code”.

My last point to completely dismantle your argument and leave it in smoldering ruins, and I’ll preface it by saying that I already know your reply will be “but that was like totally way different!!!!”, so don’t bother typing it out, but do you think Sony just grew their studios out in a field or something? Or they played one of those claw games and just happened to snatch up Naughty Dog or something? Do you think Cory Barlog was birthed in a Sony lab, or do you think they hired him from other studios?

Naughty Dog
Sucker Punch
Bend
Insomniac
Housemarque
Bungie
Guerrilla

I could go on. These are all studios Sony paid for. Equally important, these studios MS have bought were actively looking for acquisition. If Bethesda or ABK or Obsidian reach out for a buyout, is Papa Phil supposed to say no because of some internet console warrior theory that studios need to be built from the ground up and not bought (but only in Xbox’s case, it’s fine for others)?

Nonsense.

  • +5
y2jarmyofficial LudicrousSpeed (on 23 November 2022)

Thank you sir I was trying to say the same thing accept you did it better

  • +1
Qwark LudicrousSpeed (on 23 November 2022)

In the meanwhile MS has bought far more studios then Sony ever did. And unlike MS the studios Sony bought they pretty much all had previous partnerships with. Can't really say that for Ninja Theory and MS.

  • -1
Runa216 LudicrousSpeed (on 23 November 2022)

I actually don't like Sony, either. I don't like any mega-corporation and I think Sony is just as greedy and shitty as Microsoft. The difference is that at least sony makes good games and they're clearly doing something right because they have continued to succeed even when they stumble. Your argument made by trying to devalue my point by calling me a fanboy without actually using the word 'fanboy' is invalid becuase I hate them both.

Again, numbers are numbers and facts are facts. If I was wrong, Sony wouldn't be regularly outselling Microsoft in every market, even North america. Sony games wouldn't keep getting unreal praise and winnng awards. their games wouldn't sell.

The issue isn't that Microsoft is buying a company. Sony buys companies, nintendo buys companies, and I saw almost no whining when Microsoft bought most of their other 23 studios (A bit more over Zenimax but it was pretty muted since most rational people understood it was a reasonable and fair acquisiton.)

The ISSUE is that 'buying studios and IP' is all they can do because the studios they have aren't cutting it.

The ISSUE is the sheer SIZE of the company they're purchasing and how that could VASTLY impact the landscape.

The ISSUE is that Microsoft is only doing this becuase daddy gates has unlimited money and they didn't earn it.

When you look at the two companies, Microsoft has the software division and its other endeavours, which is where it makes most of its money. Their time in the games industry at this point has been very hit or miss. Pretty poor Original Xbox, Exceptional 360, middling One and Series X so far. The division isn't the primary source of income overall. Sony, however, pretty much sucks everywhere else. For a while their electronics and phone divisions were suffering hard and Playstation was really the only branch of Sony keeping the company afloat.

So despite Sony actually earning their shit over decades, building relationships and giving a wide range of consumers what they want and need, Microsoft gets to just come in with mr money bags and buy everything. No skill, no paying their dues. No entry fee. Just walks in and get to be a major player by sheer brute force. The implications of that are not good and it's clear it's a big deal because actual trade commissions are looking into it. Many companies around the world are actively involved in this becuase it's more than just 'waaah, the competition is winning' like you seem to think it is.

Sony and Jim Ryan having very real concerns about the acquisition in regards to the landscape we all enjoy is not some tantrum. Stop acting like it is. Stop acting like Sony buying Insomniac is the same becuase the most core fundamentals of the transaction are the same. This is very different. Hell, Microsoft buying Activision isn't even the same as Microsoft buying Zenimax/Bethesda.

Read the damn room, dude. The circumstances surrounding, specifically, microsoft buying Activision-Blizzard is unique and game-changing. IT's not actually about it specifically being Microsoft, it's about the sheer scale of the purchase and the context surrounding it.

I do not know how I can possibly instill the concept of 'context' in you. Nothing is ever as cut and dry as you think it is or are acting like it is. You don't get to keep using false equivalence to justify your bad takes. I'm frustrated with this argument not becuase of BS fanboy nonsense but becuase your arguments are bad and devoid of nuance. Your lack of awareness (not just yours but everyone defending microsoft and pointing and laughing at sony despite the context) is disheartening becuase in spite of being flat-out wrong your voice carries as much weight as anyone else's.

Seriously how do you continue to see everything as some sort of binary?

  • -4
LudicrousSpeed Runa216 (on 23 November 2022)

I already laid out how Sony came into the market and succeeded because of money they brought in from elsewhere. Most of that incredibly long reply is irrelevant and not worth responding to. It’s basically boiling down to “it was different when Sony did it!”

You don’t seem to have a clue how the industry works. You want MS to “earn” their way somehow or something, that’s a joke. And funny you claim to equally hate Sony and yet you’re never negative towards them. I may be mistaken but aren’t you banned from the Xbox forum? Are you also banned from the Sony forum? Just curious.

  • +1
zero129 LudicrousSpeed (on 24 November 2022)

Indeed this take from Some sony fans just makes me lol. Are they even old enough to remember how Sony entered the market or do they just like sticking their head in the sand and pretending it was different?.

  • +1
y2jarmyofficial zero129 (on 29 November 2022)

Yep yep or they don’t do their homework and check.or ignore certain facts to make ms look bad

  • +1
y2jarmyofficial Runa216 (on 29 November 2022)

So in short Sony is crying over this? K got it and already knew that . Oh and fyi Serbia just approved ms to purchase Activision

  • +2
yvanjean (on 21 November 2022)

By far the most annoying story of 2022 no matter what your preferred console. I can't wait for 2023 when the massive deluge of games drop on Gamepass from Activision Blizzard.

  • +5
Pemalite (on 21 November 2022)

$687 billion? Might want to correct that...

  • +5
Link_knight30 Pemalite (on 21 November 2022)

yes

  • +1
SKMBlake Pemalite (on 21 November 2022)

I believe it's true

  • 0
Link_knight30 SKMBlake (on 21 November 2022)

It is 68.7. They already corrected it

  • +1
zero129 (on 22 November 2022)

Can we get at least one MS article without the same few Sony fanboys coming in and ruining it each and every time with nothing but nonsense?.

  • +4
Blood_Tears zero129 (on 22 November 2022)

It's not a "MS article" but an article about MS and Sony. It's going to attract both fanbases.

  • +1
Runa216 zero129 (on 22 November 2022)

Not liking the way this has been going doesn't make anyone a 'fanboy'. Considering many trade commissions are also investigating this as potentially troublesome, it's reasonable to expect fanbases to also be unsure of all this.

  • -2
pitzy272 zero129 (on 22 November 2022)

To be fair, Xbox fanboys do the same thing to Sony-related articles. Both sides can be intolerable to each other.

But also, what Runa said. If someone’s being obnoxious or intentionally inflammatory, it’s different, but there are also a lot of people just genuinely concerned about the negative repercussions this could bring. And there are also a ton of people concerned about this deal who aren’t PS fans. It can have potential repercussions for a lot more than just this deal if all of the MSs, Apples, Googles, Amazons, etc. can be given free reign to buy anything they want in any field with their virtually endless cash piles. These companies make so much profit, they legitimately struggle to get rid of it (esp Apple and MS). If there are no limitations, then it can absolutely stifle competition—from companies both new and old.

  • 0
smroadkill15 pitzy272 (on 22 November 2022)

To your first statement, no not really. Maybe on twitter and other sites, but on here it really is one sides. It's usually Xbox fans not saying anything bad about PS while having to constantly defend their system of choose.

  • +2
zero129 zero129 (on 23 November 2022)

Just look at classic games wizz and a few other Sony fans comments in every Ms topic or that has the Ms name in the topic. Them type of comments are nothing but a free style flame comments.

  • 0
Giggity_goo (on 22 November 2022)

10 years is more than enough time for them to make a new Killzone, Resistance & other new fps ips so is alternatives

  • +4
KratosLives Giggity_goo (on 23 November 2022)

No it isn't. It will take 4 or 5 years to make a game, and if it fails, they only have another chance. Halo/ resistance never reached the same heights

  • -3
zero129 KratosLives (on 23 November 2022)

Really? it seems some Sony fans think them things should happen quick now, Just ask Runa and Eviln.

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed (on 21 November 2022)

Obviously Sony is entitled to a life time free of charge CoD contract ?

  • +3
pitzy272 (on 22 November 2022)

I think Sony would be wise to take this deal. There will absolutely be negative consequences for them in various ways and at some point, but I fear what will happen with that $69bil dollars if this deal is rejected for MSFT. No game studio will be safe at that point. And you will also likely have an angry Microsoft, and and angry, vengeful, stupidly rich MSFT will make for a scary competitor for Sony.

  • +1
KratosLives (on 23 November 2022)

They should have made the deal "in perpetuity " like the marvel/sony deal. Where as long as there is playstation console, cod will remain multiplat

  • -3
The Fury (on 22 November 2022)

Make more games. Stop spending money on nothing.

  • -5
Ayla (on 21 November 2022)

Offer them 20 years and then buy them out in a couple years from now.

  • -6
Vengeance1138 Ayla (on 21 November 2022)

You realize you cannot buy something thats not for sale right? Microsoft couldn't even buy Nintendo and just ended up embarrassing themselves.

  • 0
2zosteven Vengeance1138 (on 21 November 2022)

everything is for sale!

  • +4
VAMatt Vengeance1138 (on 21 November 2022)

Sony is publicly traded.

  • +2
Vengeance1138 VAMatt (on 21 November 2022)

So is Nintendo and yet they cannot be bought by anyone. Untouchable.

  • 0
2zosteven Vengeance1138 (on 21 November 2022)

If sony stock price is $80.00 and Elon Musk offered $94.20 a share, are you saying sony would not sale?

  • +5
loy310 2zosteven (on 22 November 2022)

Can i offer you $100k for your wife, or 18 year old daughter?
Seeing that everything got a price…..

  • -4
VAMatt loy310 (on 22 November 2022)

Sony doesn't get to decide whether somebody buys them. Their shareholders get to decide.

Management can recommend to shareholders not to accept an offer. And there are many other ways that they can stand in the way of a sale. But, ultimately, if the shareholders don't want them standing in the way, management can be replaced. And if they try to stand in the way in other, more devious ways, they can get sued into oblivion by those shareholders.

  • +10
Vengeance1138 VAMatt (on 22 November 2022)

So much effort arguing for a situation that is actually impossible to happen. You think the merging of 2/3 of the major industry players isnt a monopoly? sweetheart, I got something to tell ya...
If the merger between MS and ActiBlizz is facing a tough as nails up hill climb to get approved, my god you havent seen anything yet.

  • +1
VAMatt Vengeance1138 (on 22 November 2022)

Nobody is arguing that Microsoft is going to buy Sony. We're just pointing out that you are wrong.

  • 0
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VAMatt Vengeance1138 (on 22 November 2022)

That's just not a true statement. It's not how it works.

  • 0
shikamaru317 Vengeance1138 (on 22 November 2022)

I don't think he was suggesting Xbox buy Playstation in a few years. I think he was saying they should commit to the 10 year contract with Sony in order to get the deal past the regulators, and then once the deal is safely closed, buy Sony out of the 10 year contract with a cash payment. Most contracts have escape clauses built into them.

  • +6
VAMatt shikamaru317 (on 22 November 2022)

Even if there is no escape clause built in, there's always a number that will make it happen.

  • +8
loy310 (on 22 November 2022)

Sony already pass on this offer. MS is not offering out of good faith, they are doing it to look favorable. All this proves is that their goal is to pull cod at some point.
Giving regulators all the ammo they need to challenge or block this merger.
And Sony want the merger blocked outright, they are not looking for offers from ms.

  • -8
shikamaru317 loy310 (on 22 November 2022)

It doesn't prove that at all. Phil Spencer has already said he plans to treat CoD just like Minecraft and keep it on Playstation. The 10 year deal doesn't mean they will pull the series in 10 years, it's just to give Sony a legal assurance in addition to Phil's non-legally binding statement. No company will commit to a lifetime contract, that would be foolish, circumstances can change.

  • +8
Ryuu96 shikamaru317 (on 22 November 2022)

Plus, not even Minecraft has a contract with Sony, not for the mainline nor the spinoffs but Microsoft still releases them on PlayStation. This offer of a contract isn't the norm in the industry and is for regulators benefit as much as it is Sony's.

Nobody, not even Sony, would sign a contract which says "permanent".

  • +7
loy310 Ryuu96 (on 22 November 2022)

Sony is not asking for permanent, they not asking for anything at all other than to block the merger. Block is all sony have preached since this was announced.

  • +1
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 21 November 2022)
  • -18
Vengeance1138 (on 21 November 2022)
  • -18