Microsoft’s Acquisition Battle with FTC
In the midst of a legal battle over Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Xbox head Phil Spencer has made a surprising commitment. Despite the ongoing court proceedings with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Spencer has assured that the popular Call of Duty franchise will continue to be available on Sony’s PlayStation 5.
Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, initiated in January 2022, has been met with significant resistance from the FTC. The regulatory body argues that the deal could potentially harm competition in various markets related to gaming consoles, subscription services, and cloud gaming.
Call of Duty’s Future: Staying on PlayStation, Not Exclusive to Xbox
During his recent court appearance, Spencer addressed these concerns and made a bold statement about the future of Call of Duty. He stated that removing the franchise from PlayStation would cause “irreparable harm” to the Xbox brand. He further pledged that Microsoft has no plans to pull Call of Duty from PlayStation, and that future versions of the game will continue to be shipped to Sony’s PlayStation 5.
This commitment aligns with Spencer’s previous stance on the issue, where he stated that Call of Duty would continue to be available on PlayStation as long as the platform exists. However, his specific mention of PlayStation 5 has led to speculation about the game’s availability on potential future PlayStation consoles.
Microsoft’s Position in the Console Wars
In a surprising revelation, Microsoft also admitted in court documents that they had “lost the console wars” against PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. This admission came during Spencer’s testimony, where he also alleged that Sony had engaged in practices aimed at reducing Xbox’s market share, including delaying the release of developer kits for the PS5.
The Ongoing Legal Battle and Its Implications
The court proceedings come over a year after Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard. The tech giant has been seeking approval for the acquisition from antitrust regulators in various countries. However, the primary obstacles to the deal have been in the UK and US, where regulatory bodies have blocked the transaction due to concerns over a potential lack of competition in the video game industry.
As the gaming world watches the unfolding drama, the future of Call of Duty on PlayStation remains secure, at least for now. However, the final outcome of this legal battle could have far-reaching implications for the gaming industry as a whole.