The largest video game acquisition of all time faces significant hurdles in getting approved. The deal has also encountered concerns from gamers that one of the highest-selling franchises of all time could become exclusive to one console.

What Happened: Earlier this year, Microsoft Corporation MSFT announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI in a $68.7 billion deal valuing the company at $95 per share.

While Activision Blizzard owns a strong library of franchises such as Diablo, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush and more, the immediate question on gamers’ minds was if the Call of Duty franchise was going to remain available for multiple consoles and not just the Xbox, owned by Microsoft.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has been vocal since the deal was announced that Call of Duty would live on for other consoles, something he reiterated recently.

“We’re not taking Call of Duty from PlayStation. That’s not our intent,” Spencer said on the Same Brain YouTube channel, as reported by IGN.

Spencer used the example of Microsoft previously acquiring Mojang Studios, the company behind Minecraft, and keeping that game on multiple consoles.

“Our intent is not to do that and as long as there’s a PlayStation out there to ship to, our intent is that we’ll continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation.”

The comments from Spencer could be good news for PlayStation owners and also shareholders of Sony Group Corp SONY, owner of the PlayStation console.

Related Link: Why The $70B Activision Microsoft Deal Could Hurt Sony 

Why It’s Important: Call of Duty is an important franchise to Activision Blizzard and likely a big reason for the purchase by Microsoft. The franchise releases a version annually across several sub-franchises.

In 2021, Call of Duty held the top two spots on the bestselling video games list with the 2021 release Call of Duty: Vanguard ranking first and the 2020 release Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War ranking second.

Spencer said the ownership of the franchise by Microsoft will see Call of Duty added to the Xbox Game Pass.

Along with being available on the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Spencer said recently he would also like to see Call of Duty released on the Nintendo Switch console from Nintendo ADR NTDOY.

The comments from Spencer come after Playstation CEO Jim Ryan said earlier this year that Microsoft was only interested in extending the rights to the Call of Duty franchise for three years past the current deal.

The newest Call of Duty game was released on Oct. 28 for multiple consoles. The game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest launch ever for the franchise on the Playstation Store based on preorders and day-one sales.

The acquisition of Activision Blizzard faces hurdles from several agencies based on competition concerns. The availability of franchises such as Call of Duty on other consoles and how long deals are signed for could remain a key talking point.

Activision Blizzard will report quarterly financial results on Nov. 7 which could provide more details on how the deal is progressing and an early look at the latest Call of Duty franchise game and its first week of sales.

ATVI Price Action: Activision Blizzard shares were down 0.89% to $72.66 on Wednesday versus a 52-week range of $56.40 to $86.90.

Read Next: ‘Greater Competition In Traditional Gaming’: Microsoft Says Sony And Nintendo Will Benefit From Activision Acquisition

Photo: Roman Kosolapov via Shutterstock

 

  


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