Earlier this year, Sony PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said that Microsoft’s promise to support Call of Duty on PlayStation for three more years was “inadequate on many levels.” Now in comments to the gaming podcast SameBrain, Xbox chief Phil Spencer appears to have extended that timeframe to forever, or at least as long as PlayStation exists as a platform.
“We’re not taking Call of Duty from PlayStation,” he said. “Our intent is not to do that, and as long as there’s a PlayStation out there to ship to, our intent is that we’d continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation, similar to what we’ve done with Minecraft since we’ve owned that.
“We’ve expanded the places where people can play Minecraft, we haven’t reduced the places, and it’s been good. It’s been good for the Minecraft community—my opinion—and I want to do the same as we think about where Call of Duty can go over the years.”
Spencer made the comments just as the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a “Phase 2 investigation” into Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision. One specific reason cited is concern that Microsoft could restrict Call of Duty from PlayStation consoles. In response, Microsoft accused the UK regulator of specifically adopting Sony’s complaints in its initial probe. Despite that, Spencer said Microsoft is confident that the deal will be approved by the end of its fiscal year in June 2023.