March 21, 2023


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Microsoft confirms that it will allow Sony to put Call of Duty on PS Plus on day one

Microsoft confirmed that it offered Sony the option to put future Call of Duty games on its PlayStation Plus subscription service on Day One, as part of its attempt to allay regulators’ concerns about Activision Blizzard’s proposed acquisition.

However, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has claimed that the show may rely on unsustainable licensing costs, which will force them to raise prices.

The offer is detailed in Microsoft’s newly published response to the UK regulator’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) interim findings on the deal, which were released last month.

In its response, Microsoft reiterated its desire to sign a 10-year contract that would ensure the shooter series would continue to be released on PlayStation consoles after the acquisition.

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Microsoft claims its 10-year offer will provide Sony with parity in “release date, content, features, upgrades, quality, and Xbox platform playability” across the PS4, PS5, and any later platforms.

Notably, the Xbox owner said parity would also apply to streaming and subscription services, confirming a Bloomberg report from last year.

“Any CoD game in Microsoft’s multi-game subscription is eligible for inclusion in Sony’s multi-game subscription service, at the same time and for the same duration,” Microsoft claims in its response.

It has confirmed that if Activision Blizzard’s deal is approved by regulators, it intends to put future releases on Game Pass on the day of their release. It appears that this would give Sony the green light to do the same on PlayStation Plus over the next decade, if it accepts Microsoft’s offer.

However, in its own response to the CMA findings, also published on Wednesday, SIE claims Microsoft’s subscription offer is not as attractive as it appears.

In a heavily redacted document, PlayStation claims that Microsoft will have significant leverage to manipulate the price of Call of Duty on PlayStation based on the license fee it decides to charge. Upon signing up, SIE claims, “This would destroy SIE commercially [multi-game subscription] model.”

Microsoft will be able to “raise the price of Call of Duty,” SIE claims, which it claims will force it to “raise the price of Call of Duty.” [our] MGS service, or not offer Call of Duty on MGS at all. “

“As a result of the proposal,” she wrote, “Call of Duty will become Game Pass exclusive by default and thus dominate MGS services in the future.”

Microsoft has stated that it is willing to commit to appointing a third-party evaluator to ensure that it does not deviate from its obligations during the 10-year period.

The CMA’s final decision on the Activision Blizzard deal is due by April 26.

While Sony has so far refused to accept Microsoft’s 10-year offer, Microsoft chief Brad Smith recently said he still hopes to strike a deal with PlayStation.

Last month, Microsoft announced that it had signed a binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms should the Activision Blizzard deal be approved.

It also confirmed a 10-year partnership with Nvidia to bring Xbox PC games to its GeForce Now cloud gaming service, including Call of Duty.