Xbox at Gamescom 2022

Xbox offered PlayStation a 10-year contract for Call of Duty, Sony declined to comment

What do you want to know

  • Microsoft is trying to buy Activision-Blizzard for $69 billion.
  • Sony is a huge opponent of the deal, going to regulators to denounce the proposals, often using Call of Duty as a bargaining chip.
  • Microsoft said it offered Sony a 10-year contract for Call of Duty, up from the previous 3-year offer.
  • Sony declined to comment.

A new report in the New York Times has given us an update on the ensuing drama between Microsoft and regulators over its $69 billion merger with Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft has battled with regulators on both sides of the Atlantic to get approval for its mega-deal for the creators of Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush and various other major games. Microsoft said that the deal is more about mobile games, where Microsoft’s footprint is relatively small in an industry dominated by Chinese giants like Tencent.

Merging with Activision would give Microsoft the tools it needs to bring Xbox games and Xbox developers to a whole new audience on phones and tablets. The growing mobile games segment has become a dominant force in many major economies, and there’s no reason to think it won’t also start to eat away at the relatively static console market in the years to come. To that end, Microsoft is looking to integrate titles like Call of Duty Mobile, while supporting its fledgling subscription service. Xbox Game Pass with a slew of new content, offering games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for $10 a month alongside hundreds of other games, instead of picking up the game for $70 like it is now.

(Image credit: Activision)

One of the main opponents of the deal is Sony, which is Microsoft’s biggest console competitor. While most other publishers generally haven’t said much to decry the deal, rival platform owners like PlayStation and Google have quietly (and not so quietly) expressed “concern” to regulators that Microsoft could end up with too much power in space if it seeks to exclude games like Call of Duty from their platforms. Microsoft hit back, saying it had no plans to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation at least, initially offering Sony a 3-year contract that would guarantee access to the game. Playstation previously said it wasn’t good enough.

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