Since Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Call of Duty and Overwatch, for $68.7 billion, it’s been grappling with legislators around the world to gain permission to close that deal.
Recently, the company has faced scrutiny from the American Federal Trade Commission in court, with the proceedings having revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes information about Microsoft’s relationship with Activision and past acquisition targets, as well as PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan’s thoughts on Starfield’s exclusivity.
Now, following a ruling in Microsoft’s favour after five days of testimony, which is being appealed by the FTC, the company has agreed to a fresh deal that’ll keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles if its Activision Blizzard acquisition goes ahead.
Are you glad to know that Call of Duty will be staying on PlayStation if Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal finally goes ahead?
This new “binding agreement” between the two sides, announced via a Tweet from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, has since been confirmed to last for 10 years and only affect games in the Call of Duty series, meaning the fates of other Activision Blizzard titles on PlayStation remain unknown.
“Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before,” Microsoft President Brad Smith stated on social media regarding the deal.
This agreement marks a key step for Microsoft in addressing concerns from regulators as to how its planned Activision Blizzard acquisition might affect the massively popular FPS franchise, which has been a major talking point throughout proceedings surrounding that deal being allowed to go ahead.
The main hurdle that Microsoft still has to overcome in order to get the deal over the line concerns what it’ll look like in the UK, with a Competition Appeal Tribunal case management conference involving it and the CMA set to take place later today.
The UK regulator, which blocked the deal back in April, citing apprehension over its potential effects on cloud gaming, has recently warned that any restructuring of the deal in order to mitigate these concerns could lead to a fresh investigation of the merger.
Regardless of what you think of this titanic legal tussle, make sure to check out the rest of our coverage of it, as well as our array of guides to the latest developments in Call of Duty Warzone and Modern Warfare 2, with Season 4 Reloaded having recently kicked off in the latter.