Sony Interactive Entertainment has no concerns about Microsoft keeping Activision Blizzard games exclusive to Xbox once the acquisition concludes.
Speaking with The Wall Street Journal earlier today, Sony stated that it has active agreements with Activision Blizzard regarding upcoming PlayStation releases, agreements which Microsoft is expected to respect.
“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” said a Sony spokesman.
It should be noted that Microsoft kept Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo as timed exclusives for PlayStation 5 after acquiring Bethesda through its parent company ZeniMax Media. Hence, Microsoft should be respecting any deals inked between Sony and Activision Blizzard before the latter was acquired by the Xbox maker.
However, and it goes without saying, Microsoft will be free to act on Activision Blizzard games outside of the said contractual agreements. Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, for example, were always expected to land on PlayStation 5 as third-party releases. They will now be exclusive to Xbox consoles.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, has stated that Microsoft will not be uprooting PlayStation communities or forcing them to jump to other consoles. However, Microsoft reportedly does intend to keep some games exclusive to Xbox while have other games continue gracing PlayStation.
Call of Duty remains as the biggest franchise owned by Activision Blizzard. Microsoft, as the new property owner, could cut out the competition completely by limiting new Call of Duty releases to Xbox consoles. However, according to industry analysts, such a move could be blocked by gaming regulators.
Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard in a landmark deal estimated to be around $70 billion. Warcraft and World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Hearthstone, StarCraft, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Tony Hawk, Candy Crush, Call of Duty, and a lot more are now first-party Xbox franchises.