Xbox VP Sarah Bond told PlayStation gamers that their favorite Activision Blizzard titles will “live on” after the merger ends. While regulators around the world are still evaluating whether Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is anticompetitive, PlayStation gamers have a more specific concern. They worry that games like Call of Duty will no longer appear on PlayStation consoles. Bond seems to be saying to trust Microsoft.
While Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard remains uncertain, there have been positive moves in recent weeks. The CMA said last week that it does not believe the acquisition will limit console competition in the United States. The CMA as well as the European Council still need to issue their final decision, while the FTC in the US remains a complex issue, but momentum seems to be on Microsoft’s side for now.
In an interview with Tech Radar, Sara Bond offered some direct comments to PlayStation gamers who may be concerned that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is coming to an end. “[The games they love] are here to stay,” Bond said of future Activision Blizzard titles. All things considered, this is a rather surprising statement. Xbox doesn’t need to make such promises in public statements, even if it does plan to do so. However, that doesn’t mean it will follow through.
After thinking about it, Bond explained that Xbox plans to continue to offer “a cross-platform experience.” This means Xbox sees the benefit of sharing audiences between PlayStation and Xbox, rather than cutting off PlayStation players. This part of Bond’s statement is likely referring to Call of Duty, as Call of Duty’s multiplayer is the one where the Activision Blizzard community has benefited the most from cross-play. After all, a single-player game cannot provide a cross-platform experience.
Bond did, however, let Microsoft brush off her comments. She went on to say that Microsoft is “willing to work with partners” on future Activision Blizzard games. While it’s nice to hear that Microsoft won’t just cut off the possibility of future partnerships with PlayStation, Microsoft could simply put up a roadblock and say Sony isn’t open to working with it. Only time will tell how it turns out.
It’s also worth acknowledging that while Microsoft has made legally binding commitments to bring Call of Duty to different platforms, including the Nintendo Switch and various cloud services, it has yet to strike a deal with Sony. It is said to have offered Sony a 10-year contract, but Sony has not been interested in negotiating. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan once said, ‘I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to stop your merger,” to Microsoft. It remains to be seen what Xbox will do with Activision Blizzard once the merger is complete.