Phil Spencer Willing to “Pledge” for Ensuring Call of Duty Presence on PlayStation
The chief of gaming at Microsoft has said that he’s willing to pledge to Sony and authorities that Call of Duty would remain on PlayStation for longer than planned. Speaking on The Verge’s Decoder podcast, Phil Spencer said that while Microsoft continues to wait for clearance for its planned purchase of Activision Blizzard, he was open to pledging to please Sony and international authorities.
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, [that] regulators would be comfortable with, I have no issue with that at all.”
Social media users have been criticizing Microsoft’s usage of the term “intent,” the possibility that it would force Sony to adopt Xbox Game Pass on its platforms, or even the idea that the company’s pledges are just verbal statements that should be included in a written contract. Spencer disagrees that it is necessary to document this information. Instead, Spencer wants to be clear that Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation without any conditions, without the requirement for Xbox Game Pass, and without any “intent” tricks.
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.”
After Sony’s existing marketing agreement with Activision ends, Spencer said in September that Microsoft has committed to making Call of Duty accessible on PlayStation for “many more years.” However, Sony CEO Jim Ryan replied publicly by labeling Microsoft’s plan to retain the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation systems “inadequate on many levels.” Ryan allegedly also traveled to Brussels in September to speak with EU officials investigating Microsoft’s takeover proposal.
Call of Duty will continue to be available on PlayStation, according to firm comments from Microsoft’s Xbox boss. And Microsoft may even provide a more explicit pledge to guarantee that for Sony and the authorities.