Sony has secured a “binding agreement” with Microsoft to keep Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed the news on Twitter earlier today (July 16), although whilst he did confirm that both parties had “signed a binding agreement”, the terms of that contract – and the timescales involved, of course – have yet to be revealed publicly.
“We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” Spencer tweeted.
“We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.”
We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and @PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.July 16, 2023
Whilst Microsoft still needs to contend with the ruling of the UK government’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA), which blocked the merger because it believes it would allow Microsoft to cultivate a gaming monopoly, it takes Microsoft one step closer to its $69bn acquisition, which needs to complete by the end of July 18, 2023, or Microsoft will be legally obligated to pay Activision a $3m breakup fee and renegotiate the terms of the takeover.
Microsoft’s intended acquisition of Activision Blizzard has come under a great deal of scrutiny from governments the world over, but even though Microsoft won its battle with the FTC when a federal judge ruled in favor of the acquisition, the FTC filed a full notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to reverse the decision.
Now, however, the Ninth Circuit has “denied” the “motion of injunctive relief”, which means Microsoft is free to complete the $69bn acquisition.
“We appreciate the Ninth Circuit’s swift response denying the FTC’s motion to further delay the deal,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, said at the time. “This brings us another step closer to the finish line in this marathon of global regulatory reviews.”