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Fact check: Will Call of Duty be a Game Pass exclusive? Xbox and PlayStation controversy explored

Microsoft explained Call of Duty's future for PlayStation (Image via Sportskeeda)
Microsoft explained Call of Duty's future for PlayStation (Image via Sportskeeda)

Since Microsoft's acquisition of Activision was announced, Call of Duty fans and Sony have shown concern regarding the future of the gaming series. In a recent report, however, Microsoft has finally stated that it will not make this franchise an Xbox exclusive.

There was a rumor making the rounds suggesting Microsoft would give Call of Duty's exclusive rights to Xbox. Since the FPS franchise has a large chunk of gamers using PlayStation to play the title, it was quite normal that this rumor had PS COD players worried.

Microsoft has stated that making certain AB games exclusive to Xbox would not be profitable. "the reality is that the strategy of retaining Activision Blizzard’s games by not distributing them in rival console shops would simply not be profitable for Microsoft." https://t.co/KFOIutqTAc

Last month, out of concern, Sony told Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) that the Activision Microsoft deal might influence players to switch to Xbox consoles if COD became an Xbox/Xbox Game Pass exclusive.


Microsoft says Call of Duty will stay a multi-platform game

Following Sony's actions, Microsoft sent a 27-page document to CADE explaining that COD wouldn't be turned into an Xbox exclusive. The company said that it does not want to take a community-favorite game away from PS fans. Microsoft also said that not selling the game on PS devices would result in losses:

"The reality is that the strategy of retaining Activision Blizzard’s games by not distributing them in rival console shops would simply not be profitable for Microsoft."

In Sony's report to CADE, Sony explained that, as COD has a category of its own, the company feared a large chunk of COD fans might jump from PlayStation to Xbox if the game is available on the Game Pass as a Day 1 release.

Microsoft responded by saying that having a large audience or a fanbase does not qualify as a gaming category and that there are other developers that also use subscription-based platforms to launch games, and some of these products are not even available on Xbox.

Microsoft also addressed how Sony had acquired the market by making exclusive content for PlayStation. However, Microsoft won't do the same with COD since it goes against its ideals to take away the franchise from millions of active users on different platforms.

Microsoft responds to Sony's dispute over the Activision Blizzard buyout saying that Sony fears an attractive subscription service and new monetization models because it threatens their dominance and challenges its business model 👀Yeah that pretty much sounds about right https://t.co/233q4CStRq

Microsoft further accused Sony of blocking games from arriving on Game Pass. The company claimed that Sony had paid some developers for "blocking rights" in exchange for Microsoft not launching its games on Xbox Game Pass.

All things considered, the final conclusion regarding COD becoming an Xbox exclusive is that the franchise won't be removed from platforms going forward, and COD will be available on all the platforms that still have the game; the franchise will remain a paid offering until the situation changes drastically.

As of now, PlayStation still has a contract with COD for the next three games. Modern Warfare 2 is coming out on October 28 this year. There is also another rumored title expected for a 2024 release that is likely being developed by Treyarch Studios. Both these games will be available on PlayStation devices.

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Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh
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