Microsoft says it has offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation

Microsoft has reportedly offered Sony a deal that would keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation for a decade.

The Xbox maker told the New York Times that it offered Sony a 10-year deal on November 11. Sony declined to comment on this claim.

The future of the Call of Duty series as a cross-platform product is one of the main areas being scrutinized by regulators around the world scrutinizing Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

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Of the 16 governments that reviewed the deal, only Saudi Arabia and Brazil have agreed to it so far, though Microsoft said it expects Serbia to do so soon.

In September, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said Microsoft had committed to making Call of Duty available on PlayStation for “several more years” after Sony’s current deal with Activision expires, which will follow the release of a new game from Black Ops developer Treyarch in 2024.

However, PlayStation president Jim Ryan, who reportedly seeks access to future Call of Duty games on equal terms and in perpetuity, has responded publicly by calling Microsoft’s proposal to keep the series on PlayStation consoles “inadequate on many levels.”

Since then, British and European regulators have expanded their initial inquiries about the deal into in-depth investigations, and Microsoft has said it is willing to compromise on the future of the Call of Duty series.

Last week, Spencer said he was open to committing to Sony and regulators that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation on a longer-term basis than is currently agreed upon.

Seemingly referring to the 10-year offer, Microsoft’s head of gaming told The Verge’s Decoder podcast: “I think the idea that we’re going to write a contract that says ‘forever’ in it is a little silly, but it’s a long-term commitment that Sony would feel comfortable with, [that] The organizers will be at ease, I have no problem with that at all.”

Announcing its decision to investigate the acquisition in more detail in September, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it “considers Call of Duty to be significant enough that the loss of access to it (or loss of access in competitive terms) could significantly affect On Sony Inc. Revenue and User Base”.

In response to the CMA’s decision, Microsoft called the regulator’s concerns “misplaced” and claimed that it “adopts Sony’s complaints without the appropriate level of critical review”.

It has now accused Sony of misleading the regulator, telling the New York Times that the company has “exaggerated Call of Duty’s importance to its viability.”

Microsoft says it has offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation

In a statement, PlayStation chief Ryan told the newspaper it was “not true” that his company had misled regulators. Microsoft is “a tech giant with a long history of dominating industries” and “it’s very likely that the options available to gamers today would disappear if this deal went ahead,” he claimed.

In the aforementioned interview with The Verge, Spencer said Xbox will struggle to survive as a global business if the company doesn’t establish a foothold in mobile, and claimed the Activision Blizzard deal is primarily about acquiring Candy Crush maker King, not Call of Call. of duty.