Microsoft reportedly offered Sony a deal to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation for 10 years, according to a report by The New York Times. The tech giant announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard earlier this year for almost $70 billion, but the deal has come under intense scrutiny from regulators such as the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the E.U.’s European Commission.
According to The New York Times, Microsoft said that on November 11 it had made an offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for another decade. However, Sony declined to comment on this specific claim.
Previously, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan revealed that Microsoft had only offered to provide three additional years of Call of Duty on the PlayStation platform after existing agreements expired. Microsoft never commented on that claim.
Xbox head Phil Spencer has repeatedly said that Xbox would not pull the Call of Duty franchise away from PlayStation. Speaking to the New York Times after the deal, Spencer emphasized that the agenda for his first call with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella included contacting Sony and committing to keeping the franchise on PlayStation.
Sony took more cautionary measures and reportedly hired a consulting firm for meetings on Capitol Hill in order to fight the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. The consulting firm’s arguments were reportedly used elsewhere and ultimately caused the CMA to do a deeper investigation into the deal.
If the merger goes through, Microsoft aims to put franchises like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo onto its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. The deal is expected to close by June 2023.
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