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Microsoft will keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles

By Tim Augustin - on 21 Jan 2022, 9:00pm

Microsoft will keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles

Image: Activision

PlayStation owners can breathe a sigh of relief. 

Microsoft’s acquisition of games publisher Activision Blizzard raised a lot of questions earlier this week, one of which was a doozy: is the Call of Duty franchise now Xbox-exclusive? According to a tweet from head of Xbox Phil Spencer, maybe not. 

Spencer posted a tweet announcing that Xbox wants to, “keep Call of Duty on PlayStation,” which means that future games in the annual series will likely still have cross-platform releases. Spencer also noted that, “all existing agreements,” will be honoured upon this acquisition, which isn’t a big surprise. After Microsoft acquired Bethesda earlier this year, they didn't break the company’s PlayStation-exclusive release deals for Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo. 

Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.

— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 20, 2022

However, Spencer’s wording in this tweet indicates that none of these plans have been set in motion yet. Microsoft has an ‘intent’ to honour agreements and ‘desires’ to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation - but there is likely some red tape to cut through first. Microsoft will likely still look into keeping some aspects of the Call of Duty franchise exclusive to Xbox in some form, considering how much of a boon future games would be in their Game Pass subscription service. 

However, this year’s annual Call of Duty game and Call of Duty: Warzone will probably stay on PlayStation consoles. The entire franchise might not shift fully away from PlayStation consoles - but we can’t rule out the occasional Xbox-exclusive Call of Duty spin-off or two. 

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