Sony spoke with the Wall Street Journal today regarding the upcoming Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
While the move makes Microsoft the third largest gaming company in revenue, behind Tencent and Sony, many still anticipated Sony to comment on the deal. Like Microsoft’s prior purchase of Bethesda, there are many deals in place for Activision content to appear multiplatform or exclusively on PlayStation.
“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal. The topic was brought up but not fully addressed by Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming. “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward,” he said.
There is already precedent in place. Both Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, games published by Bethesda, have an exclusive console debut for PlayStation 5. Those exclusive deals were announced before Microsoft purchased Bethesda, and those contracts have been, as Sony says, abided by.
The same is true for several multiplatform online games. Both Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76 continue to exist on PlayStation. The same is expected for Warzone, Activision’s massively popular free-to-play Battle Royale.
Beyond that, however, we don’t know, but we can speculate, as industry insider Jeff Grubb does here.
I think he’s dead on the money. Warzone will remain multiplatform, like Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76, but Sony might have to deal with the mainline Call of Duty franchise being an Xbox exclusive.
I also fully expect all contracts that have the ink dry to remain intact. Beyond that, however, who knows.