In the recent FTC vs Microsoft evidentiary hearing, Microsoft executive Sarah Bond reportedly confirmed that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick clearly didn’t want to bring Call of Duty to Xbox consoles unless given a better revenue share.
To make things complicated, Kotick wanted a specific split, with Activision retaining 70%, and the platform holder with 30%.
It was clear that Call of Duty would be on PS5 and that would not have been good if it was not also on Xbox if it was launching at the same time. It was clear if we did not move beyond the standard rev share, he would not place Call of Duty on Xbox.”Sarah Bond
The FTC, which is investigating the deal, accidentally revealed that Activision had secured an 80-20 revenue split for Call of Duty, meaning that Activision keeps 80% of the revenue from sales of the game and Microsoft gets 20%.
This is certainly a significant deviation from the standard 70-30 revenue split that is typically used in the video game industry. It is also a sign of Activision’s market power, as it is able to demand a better deal from Microsoft simply because Call of Duty is such a popular franchise.
The statement from Sarah about how that Activision threatened to keep Call of Duty off Xbox will surely upset a lot of fans of the franchise who play on Xbox. It also raises questions about the future of Call of Duty on Xbox.
This split isn’t set in stone, though, and it remains to be seen whether Microsoft will be able to negotiate a more favorable revenue share for Xbox once the acquisition is finalized. However, this whole chapter shows how Activision is not afraid to use its most popular franchise as a bargaining chip.
With that being said, there is a lot going on, with insider information coming forward about the intricacy of the deal. As of now, this is all we know, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.