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Microsoft Announces Sony's Activision Agreement Blocks 'Call Of Duty' From Game Pass

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While we all suspected this was probably the case, Microsoft has announced that as part of its ongoing efforts to get its acquisition of Activision Blizzard approved, Sony has and may continue to block Call of Duty from coming to Game Pass. even if the deal eventually happens.

As part of another document Microsoft submitted to the UK’s CMA detailing Sony’s position on all but unequal terms, they said this about the current agreement between Sony and Activision Blizzard:

The agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on Activision Blizzard’s ability to place the Call of Duty title on Game Pass for several years.”

This is important because this is part of the deal Phil Spencer refers to when he says that Microsoft “intends to honor all existing agreements after acquiring Activision Blizzard.”

Some reports suggest that this old Sony-Activision deal will last until 2024. to do By acquiring Activision Blizzard, they pledged to the public, Sony, and regulators that not only would they not rip Call of Duty off the PlayStation, but would not even give themselves an advantage by putting Call of Duty on Game Pass for the duration. time.

What is unclear is the content of the supplemental deal, which Phil Spencer says is working with Sony, which Jim Ryan says is “inadequate” and only for three years. Spencer may have promised that Call of Duty won’t go exclusive within this time frame, as I find it very hard to believe that Call of Duty games will continue to not be on Game Pass for another three years. I think with this last statement, it seems a bit untenable, if not impossible. This would make the Call of Duty series a highly conspicuous exception to Microsoft’s overall Game Pass plans, where almost every first-party game they’ve released or currently has is available on the service. The first place this Activision Blizzard deal is for Xbox is probably its ability to put games like Call of Duty and Diablo 4 directly into Game Pass.

But that’s not currently possible, and Microsoft agrees it won’t be possible for at least another year. I wonder if the fine print of the Spencer-Ryan deal and Game Pass is an issue that pleases Spencer but makes Ryan grumpy. Here’s what Ryan said after Spencer started talking publicly about the deal:

“Microsoft offered Call of Duty to stay on PlayStation for only three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ended. After nearly 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their offer fell short on many levels and was not considered. PlayStation We want to ensure that gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s recommendation undermines that principle.”

This seems to focus on exclusivity rather than Call of Duty coming to Game Pass in this never mentioned window. Spencer has previously mentioned that Call of Duty is coming to Game Pass, but we now know that this essentially won’t happen until Sony’s current deal expires. New deal? That’s the question, but I have a feeling Microsoft is willing to give Sony this much here.

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