Xbox Head Phil Spencer Has No Issue Making 'Longer Term Commitment' To Call Of Duty On PlayStation
Xbox head Phil Spencer has revealed that he has no issue crafting a longer-term commitment to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles that both Sony and regulators would agree with.
He told The Verge this in a new interview where he also revealed that no part of Microsoft’s ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard is about pulling the rug from underneath PlayStation’s plans; it’s just that the two parties can’t write a contract that says explicitly Call of Duty will be on PlayStation “forever.”
“It’s not about at some point I pull the rug underneath PlayStation 7’s legs, and it’s ‘ahaha you just didn’t write the contract long enough,'” Spencer told The Verge. “There’s no contract that could be written that says forever.”
Unable to write a forever contract, Spencer told the publication he has no problem creating a longer-term commitment to satisfy Sony’s concerns.
“This idea that we would write a contract that says the word ‘forever’ in it, I think, is a little bit silly, but to make a longer-term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with, regulators would be comfortable with, I have no issue with that at all,” Spencer said.
As The Verge notes, the concern over Call of Duty comes from Spencer stating that Microsoft intends “to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.” PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan revealed that this contract would only keep Call of Duty on the platform for three more years. He called this “inadequate on many levels,” citing that it “failed to take account of the impact on our gamers.”
It seems Spencer is open to finding a solution. Here’s more of what he told The Verge:
“Native Call of Duty on PlayStation, not linked to them having to carry Game Pass, not streaming. If they want a streaming version of Call of Duty, we could do that as well, just like we do on our own consoles.
There’s nothing behind my back. It is the Call of Duty Modern Warfare II doing great on PlayStation, doing great on Xbox. The next game, the next, next, next, next, next [game]. Native on the platform, not having to subscribe to Game Pass. Sony does not have to take Game Pass on their platform to make that happen.
There’s nothing hidden. We want to continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation without any kind of weird ‘aha I figured out the gotcha’ as Phil said ‘our intent.’ I understand some people’s concerns on this, and I’m just trying to be as clear as I can be.”
All of this follows news from last month where Spencer said Microsoft intends to put Call of Duty games on PlayStation as long as a PlayStation platform exists. As Microsoft and Sony continue talking with regulators about this acquisition, arguing for their respective parties, it’s clear that Call of Duty and its place in the future ecosystem are a big sticking point. Assuming regulators give this acquisition the clearance it needs, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is expected to close in the first half of 2023.
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