Microsoft has reportedly offered Sony the option to include Call of Duty in PlayStation Plus as part of its bid to acquire Activision Blizzard. However, Sony has not yet accepted the offer.
The Federal Trade Commission is currently suing Microsoft over its attempted merger with Activision Blizzard, arguing that the deal would suppress competition in the video game industry. In response, Microsoft has made various concessions regarding the popular FPS franchise. For instance, the company has offered a 10-year deal to Sony that keeps Call of Duty on PlayStation. This was followed up by Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, stating on Twitter that his company has “entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to [Nintendo] following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King.”
These efforts by Microsoft to counter anti-competitive accusations may not be enough to convince the Federal Trade Commission to allow the merger to go through. The suit, filed on December 8, claims that the deal would create a monopoly in the video game industry and harm consumers.
If the merger is successful, it would not only be the largest in Microsoft’s history, but also the largest in the video game industry overall. The acquisition of Activision Blizzard, with a reported value of nearly $70 billion, would give Microsoft control over popular franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.
The outcome of this situation remains uncertain, but it is clear that Microsoft is willing to make significant concessions in order to secure the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.