Microsoft recently announced that it will be acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion (roughly Rs. 5,10,990 crore). The wheels have been set in motion, and the deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023. Activision Blizzard currently has famous titles like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch under its belt. However, one of its most notable franchises is Call of Duty. This acquisition has cast some clouds over the multi-platform nature of the Call of Duty games. Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, has mentioned in a recent tweet that they have been in talks with leaders at Sony to address these concerns.
In the tweet, Spencer confirms the intentions of Microsoft "to honour all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard". He mentions that Sony PlayStation will keep getting Call of Duty games, for the time being. Similar concerns arose when Microsoft acquired Zenimax Media in September 2021. Zenimax Media is the parent company of Bethesda that is renowned for titles like Dishonored, Doom, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls. At that time also, Microsoft chose to honour the existing agreements relating to Deathloop that launched as a PlayStation 5 exclusive.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard also hints towards Microsoft's desire to dominate the mobile gaming space. Activision currently owns the mobile gaming studio King, developer of the Candy Crush games. Activision has also been able to successfully launch Call of Duty: Mobile for Android and iOS.
Recent reports have suggested that Microsoft plans to bring as many Activision games as they can to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Additionally, it is likely to turn some of these games into Microsoft exclusives. However, PlayStation fans of revered titles like Elder Scrolls and Call of Duty might have to buy an Xbox console to play future titles from their favourite franchises when these agreements run their course.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which is the best "next-gen" console in India? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.