Telegram The Group Cannot Be Displayed

Microsoft says a Sony deal with Activision stops Call of Duty coming to Game Pass

(Image credit: Activision)

A footnote in Microsoft’s submission
(opens in new tab)

to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has let slip the reason backside Telephone call of Duty’s absence from the Xbox Game Pass library: Sony and Activision Blizzard have a deal that restricts the games’ presence on the service.

The footnote appears in a section detailing the potential benefits to consumers (from Microsoft’s point of view) of the Activision Blizzard catalogue coming to Game Pass. In it, Microsoft says that it plans to honour “existing contractual obligations that Activision Blizzard may have with other platforms” in the event of its $68 billion acquisition
(opens in new tab)

going frontward.

What existing contractual obligations are those? Why, ones like the “agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony,” that places “restrictions on the ability of Activision Blizzard to place COD titles on Game Laissez passer for a number of years”. It was plain these kinds of agreements that Xbox’s Phil Spencer had in listen
(opens in new tab)

when he spoke to Sony bosses in January and confirmed Microsoft’south “intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard”.

Unfortunately, the footnote ends there, then at that place’s not much in the fashion of item about what these restrictions are or how long they’d remain in effect in a potential postal service-acquisition world. Given COD’s connected non-appearance on Game Pass, you’ve got to imagine the restrictions are adequately significant if they’re non an outright cake on COD coming to the service. Either manner, the elementary fact that Microsoft is apparently willing to maintain any restrictions on its own power to put showtime-party games on Game Pass is rather remarkable, given that making Game Pass more appealing is one of the reasons for its conquering spree.

The irony of Sony making deals like this 1 while fretting about COD’s hereafter on PlayStation probably isn’t lost on Microsoft’s lawyers, which is no incertitude part of why they brought information technology up to the CMA. While it’s absolutely reasonable to worry about a world in which more and more properties are concentrated in the hands of singular, giant megacorps, it does look a bit odd if you’re complaining about losing admission to games while stopping them from joining competing services.

Nosotros’ll detect out if the CMA agrees when it completes its in-depth, “Phase ii” investigation
(opens in new tab)

into the Activision Blizzard acquisition, which is some way off withal. For now, we’ll have to content ourselves with poring over these kinds of corporate submissions for more interesting tidbits like this one. Then far, we’ve already learned that Microsoft privately has a gloomy forecast for the time to come of cloud gaming
(opens in new tab)
, and that the company thinks Sony shouldn’t worry so much since, hey, future COD games might be as underwhelming equally Vanguard
(opens in new tab)
. Who knows what we’ll learn next?

One of Josh’s showtime memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family unit computer when he was much besides young to be doing that, and he’s been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He’ll play pretty much anything, and has written far likewise much on everything from visual novels to Assassin’s Creed. His well-nigh profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and whatsoever game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you’re all far too hateful about Deus Ex: Invisible War.