back to article Microsoft promises to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for next decade. Sony believes it

Microsoft and Sony have signed a pact to keep Call of Duty games available for PlayStation consoles for the next ten years, clearing a major roadblock to Microsoft closing its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have attempted …

  1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    m$ are keeping CoD games available on sony playstations for 10 years

    Ok lets take some bets

    m$ only make whatever is the current version available and keep all updates/new editions to themselves

    m$ release new versions on xbox, but wait 6 months to release the sony version

    m$ release a new version on both consoles, but only release bug fixes/exploit blocks on xbox


    They find some new way to screw over sony within 6 weeks of sony signing the deal

    (I'm basing the above on previous m$ behaviour)

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: So

      Yeah, it's not like Microsoft don't have form for trying to screw over their gaming customers. Anyone remember this?

      Not that Sony are squeaky clean, mind.

    2. bigphil9009

      Re: So

      Something tells me that Sony's lawyers may already have thought of these things, and many others. Don't forget, they're hardly innocent of restrictive practices themselves!

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        Re: So

        They're amateurs going up against the industry leader in selling lies.

    3. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: So

      An integral part of the MS MO. Such as hidden API's which made WordPerfect for Windows explode.

      I give them one year.

    4. cyberdemon Silver badge

      Re: So m$ are keeping CoD games available on sony playstations for 10 years

      Of course. All Microsoft titles, including CoD, will be available on PlayStation via Xbox Cloud Gaming Platform! All you'll need is a Microsoft Account.

      And through your quick reactions to varied audiovisual stimuli, you will help train the next generation of AI robot soldiers to protect and enslav serve humanity!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So

      Microsoft doesn't have to do any of this to fuck Sony.

      None of this makes any sense and none of that screws over Sony. If Microsoft does any of that, Sony won't care...because people will still buy the game...and people will still buy Playstation consoles.

      It alarms me that some people think that Microsoft might go after the consumer to fuck Sony...that would be a massive shooting in the foot moment...especially given that there are plenty of other ways to fuck Sony without screwing the consumer.

      If we think of this from a business perspective...Microsoft will have much bigger margins than Sony on Call of Duty, so either, Sony will have to suck up the cost and make next to no money on Call of Duty, or Call of Duty will end up being more expensive on a Sony console. If Sony decides it doesn't want to lose the margin, it will lose customers to XBox...if Sony decides to absorb the cost and lose margin, then Sony will lose revenue. Either way, Sony gets kicked in the balls, the consumers are no worse off (because they can still choose to play it on a Playstation) and Microsoft wins.

      This move by Microsoft isn't about "fucking the gamer", it's about shifting revenue out of Sony's pocket into theirs whilst keeping the status quo for gamers...

      Microsoft doesn't give a shit where the game is available, they just care about where the margins are.

      It's the same with pretty much any product. If you buy straight from the factory, it's almost always cheaper than going through a middleman. In the case of Call of Duty, Microsoft has bought the they are both the factory and the middleman...which means it will be very difficult for Sony to compete on price unless they take a shot to the nuts and hope that other games...namely, platform exclusives...will make up for the lost revenue...and treat titles like Call of Duty like loss leaders.

      I am not, and have never been (since the SNES) a console none of this matters to me at a PC Gamer, I look at the "console wars" and wonder what the fuck people are on about...if you bought both consoles, it would still cost less than a decent gaming PC...this is probably why neither side gives a shit, because a large proportion of the customer base probably has both consoles anyway.

      I think if Microsoft is going to do anything customer facing that could fuck Sony, it will be dropping long term support for older platforms late into a consoles lifecycle.

      Nothing has fucked game launches in recent years harder than trying to release a game that still works on last gen (notably PS4). It's one of the things that fucked Cyberpunk 2077 and it's a problem that keeps on happening.

      I'll bet there are fucking bucket loads of devs out there that would give their left bollock to not have to produce games that are supposed to be next gen, but somehow still work on last gen. It's the bean counters that push that narrative. Which is a negative feedback loop...because if people see that you can back port a game to the previous gen, why would they upgrade early? They won't, which keeps the old gen in play much longer than it otherwise would be, creating demand for something that shouldn't exist...which shows up on a pie chart in a board room as "customer demand", where artificially exists because some bean counter wanted an extra 10%. Ironically, that extra 10% they make is just taken from another one of their own pockets...because people hold off upgrading, which means less demand when a new launch occurs, which means you have to produce less consoles, which means the price is higher, which drops demand because people hold on to their older consoles for longer. It's so dumb it's migraine inducing.

      Backwards compatibility is fucking weird to me...yes, games being forward compatible makes sense...what I bought for a PS4 should work on a PS5 (if feasible and the hardware allows it), but why the fuck should anyone expect something that works on a PS5 to work on a PS4? I never expected Super Mario World to be released on the NES back in the 90s. Nor would I have wanted it would have been shit because a NES is nowhere near as capable as a SNES.

      What we need in the console space is for consoles to converge around a standardised open API (like Vulkan) and have them compete solely on hardware capability alone rather than game compatibility and exclusivity. At the moment, watching console fanboys fight each other, from a PC Gamer standpoint, is like watching two one legged fuckwits going at it in an arse kicking contest. The difference between the consoles is marginal and arbitrary...and the worst thing, the major difference between them is the exclusive titles...there is no technical reason an exclusive title on a Playstation couldn't run on an XBox other than Sony decided it can't and likewise with XBox...and people arguing over which is better because of exclusives is inane. Doesn't matter which side of the fight you're on, you're getting fucked either way.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: So

        PS4 PS5 - the shortages are just dropping now, also the 5 is still quite pricy.

        A good dev can make a 5 gen game run on 4 gen and look good (see Horizon : Forbidden West).

        As to different formats

        XBox is basically Windows, PS is basically a UNIX (Based on BSD).

        Game developers spent ages getting it to work on two generations, then they are expected to port to another environment they have little experience in?

        Look how bad some PS to PC ports have been, yet the devteams of the PS versions often wrote the games and game engines.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          "A good dev can make a 5 gen game run on 4 gen and look good"

          It depends on the game. A 2D side scrolling platformer or an eSports title...sure...but a cutting edge latest gen title...not so much.

          If they didn't have to take into account the 4, it would look even better on the 5, if you have to support a lower spec console, you have to ship lower res assets etc this can bloat the game out, so compromises have to be made...also taking into account how the game looks is only one aspect, there is how the game plays to take into account as well...there are limitations on the PS4 that don't exist on the PS5 that affect things like level design and so on which has an impact on how a story might be told or how a certain game plays.

          If a game is developed that can take full advantage of the current gen, it would be impossible to back port it to an older generation.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: So

            Well the dev team behind the Horizon series wrote their own game engine.

            Forbidden West looks fantastic on a PS4, on a PS5 one of the best looking games out there,

            Their last PS3 title looked better than some 4/ONE generation games and of same resolution (as XBONE).

            As to full advantage - what about PC games on different hardware?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          Some Playstation ports are actually extremely good. Spider-Man looks and plays amazing on PC...better than on the Playstation in my opinion.

          Console ports only suck under four distinct circumstances...

          1. The control system isn't properly updated to adequately accommodate the PC. This is the worst one.

          2. The game engine is stinky.

          3. The primary platform has constraints that other platforms don't have and releasing a build to another platform that doesn't have the same constraints has unintended consequences...e.g. when physics is tied to the frame rate etc because the primary system has a hard cap, but another system doesn't, so when you run it on a different platform, the timing of events and so on goes to shit...or the difficulty of the game was tuned to take into account the controller capabilities of a given platform and porting to something that doesn't have the same latency (i.e. going from a console / TV based gaming setup, to a monitor based PC gaming setup) and thus makes the game laughably easy on other platforms or mind bogglingly hard.

          4. The majority of focus on the play testing and QA was on the primary platform, and there isn't enough time left to perform the same level of quality control on the ports.

          Cross platform knowledge being arcane is a pretty thin argument, because quite a lot of games are made using cross platform Unity and Unreal Engine...the stumbling block there is the game design itself being too tightly integrated into a specific platform with specific controller layouts / accessories, constraints or features etc etc. See point 3 above.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          Yeah and a good chef can cook pancakes in a wok as well as a frying pan...doesn't mean the pancakes made in the wok will be as good as the frying pan and if he tries to keep up with demand by using both pans, the quality of both suffers because he has to try harder and put more focus on the wok, because he's using for something it was never intended for which means less focus on the frying pan so he's going to fuck more pancakes up. The result is, the customers that get the wok made pancakes all get a sub par product because pancakes don't lend themselves well to being cooked in a wok, and those that get pancakes made in the frying pan have to wait longer and get a product that could have been a lot better if the chef didn't have to fuck about with a wok.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: So

            Better comparison would be

            THis generation is basically a souped up last generation, since the move from power PC (Cell is related to power PC)

            PS4 small frying pan

            PS5 big frying pan

            BONE small Wok

            latest XBox big Wok

      2. Grogan Silver badge

        Re: So

        ... and who the fuck are you, but another opinionated asshole? Why should anybody listen to you when we already know how Microsoft behaves, from several decades of suffering their pollution.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          Nobody has to listen to me, but thanks for listening anyway.

    6. MJI Silver badge

      Re: So

      But PS player, may not be playing COD but say shooting robot animals with explosive arrows.

  2. hitmouse

    These are not the days of yore with Ballmer's paranoia causing inertia in Microsoft's product lines Today's Microsoft is busy churning out apps and services for Linux, Android and Apple platforms. They're not going to miss an opportunity to make PS bucks as well.

    Take Sony's reservations as projection. That is a company that will self-sabotage with whole new hardware platforms in order to retain control.

    1. BrownishMonstr


      I'm not saying they're not doing it for money---all companies want more.

      However, MS's focus is on cloud gaming, which makes CMA right in not wanting to stifle competition, but it's still early and a few players have entered and left the cloud-gaming arena. I don't think MS buying ABK would stifle competition in cloud gaming, but it would open the opportunity for another developer to take ABK's place. Why?? Because typical MS buys companies and kills them off.

    2. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Microsoft might not be the same company as in the 90s and early 2000s but they still do stuff right now which is right up to the line on what is acceptable behavior. Such as trying to keep pushing users to Edge with dodgy practices such as changing the default browser after a Windows update, or artificially restricting the Bing chat feature to only work with Edge browser.

      So I still expect that the Playstation versions of COD will in someway not be as good as the Xbox versions going forward.

      But of course COD has been around for 20 years now and who knows whether it will still be popular in another 10 years? After all its just a war themed FPS game so has very little that they can claim as being a unique IP that another developer couldn't copy to create a similar series around the same themes, and steal the sales away from the COD series.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I can't believe people still play it, honestly...I've always regarded it as being massively overrated as far as FPS games go. The first one was decent, because it ran on the Id Tech 3 engine...which means it owed a lot of it's smooth gameplay, stable network performance etc to ID Software...and at the time, quite a few multiplayer games were crap and unstable...most of the popular games of the time were Id Tech 3 based.

        I've long suspected that the praise the original COD got was due to the fact it simply wasn't crap rather than it being ground breaking and pioneering.

        Let's also not forget, by the time COD came out, it was running on a 4 year old game engine, which meant it ran on pretty much everything by that point...other games that came out around the same time, like UT2003 were notoriously hard to run...we were only 1 year out from Doom 3 being released and Half Life 2.

        COD was released very much at the tail end of ID Tech 3...which by that point was very mature, loads of games had been built on it, which meant it was largely bug free and with it being as old as it was, there were probably very few PCs that would struggle to run it which would only boost it's popularity, simply because more people could run it due to being 5 generations of GeForce down the line since ID Tech 3 was originally released.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        War based FPS

        There are a few, but appears to be less than there were.

        I absolutely loved Killzone 3, probably my favourite game, I was in top 0.5% of players. I also played MOVE.

        It was a heavy slow game, not suitable for running shotgunners, so not a game the average COD player would like.

        I know thatt every platform has a more tactical shooter, but most people just seem to want to run around shotgunning. I prefer to creep around sniping, or protecting an area.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, these are the days of now with Nadella's obsession with profits causing inertia in Microsoft's product lines.

      They write for Android and Apple because they lost the mobile OS war. They write for Linux because they know they're losing the desktop and server OS war to open source, that's why they're trying to lock down the PC bit by bit (if they did it all at once, regulators might notice). They've started allowing Postgres on Azure. Maybe this is related to the stories of serious bugs in SQL 2022?

      Microsoft has the most money, but they seem to be running out of competence.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Made the money by sacking the competents.

        I saw windows 11 today.

        Start menu was replaced by a weather icon and it had what looked an icon for software to design georgian windows on it.

        At least it could run WIN32, but from visuals it could be a Mac to someone not used to them, or some outlier of Linux, but it did not look like Windows.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "it probably wouldn't want the bad reviews, press, or lawsuits"

    No, but it wants that juicy market share.

    The reviews, press and lawsuits are just a cost of business.

  4. Headley_Grange Silver badge


    Kraft promised to keep the Somerdale factory open when they took over Cadbury. They shut it a week after the takeover.

  5. MJI Silver badge

    A lot of us don't care about COD but

    are a lot more concerned about Bethesda games, yes they are a buggy mess, but we like them.

    I liked the Arkane games, loved Dishonoured, no more for me.

    But as there are more games than time to play them, I will be fine.

    I am building up an exciting backlog for when I get a PS5*. Including the last Arkane game.

    * mainly as I want to play the DLC on a game I just finished!

    The sorts of games I like are. Assassins Creed until 3, Uncharted, TLOU, Dishonoured, Fallout, Far Cry 2 & 4, Killzone.

    A right mix, but enjoyed them all. I really enjoyed FO 4 and FC 4.

    1. SodiumChloride

      Re: A lot of us don't care about COD but

      Will the other games quietly vanish from steam and require a ms / xbox account to play? I have a lot of older games that work just fine as they are now. Steam or not steam but definitely not a ms account.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: A lot of us don't care about COD but

        Actually an odd thing.

        My home windows PC has a gaming thing, it is called STEAM.

        My work PC, built for business work (writing code), has something called XBOX on it, why?

  6. Annihilator


    "Microsoft, however, disagreed and claimed the acquisition would give players more choice"

    I'm... not sure I follow the logic of that statement.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Choice..

      War is peace

      Love is hate

      Obvious really!

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Choice..

      Lost choice more like, see Arkane and Bethesda.

    3. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: Choice..

      @Annihilator ”I'm... not sure I follow the logic of that statement.”

      Here is the logic when applied to a game like CoD which is a multiplatform game. When it comes to multiplatform games neither MS nor Sony have removed access to their rival when they acquired such a game. The most likely reason is it would be detrimental to their players as it would reduce the player pool of available players to compete against.

      An example of this is when MS acquired Mojang who made Minecraft. MS has not made Minecraft an Xbox exclusive, in fact they have done the opposite. It is available on more platforms than before and still available on PlayStation. That is an example of giving players more choice.

      Also, possibly the reason why Minecraft is Microsoft’s highest revenue generating game franchise.

      That was one of the points covered by the judge in the recent injunction case.

      The reason why FTC lost the case was they focused mainly on CoD. There was no evidence/expert witness testimony on any other aspects of the deal*.

      * BTW I read all 53 pages of the PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION OPINION and I can see why MS/Activision were so keen to get into court.

      1. Annihilator

        Re: Choice..

        Cool, an interesting point of view I hadn't considered and I genuinely appreciate you sharing it :-)

        I guess I just have an inherit distrust of Microsoft having seen them screw things up time and again. Just today, they moved the nav-pane on Outlook at work and moving it back was not the most obvious or straightforward thing to do - and made my think it was a temporary reprieve. I'm sure they have their reasons, but on my screen it created a load of vertical white space. And this is the least of their transgressions.

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: Choice..

          Hey its healthy to distrust Microsoft I do, just as I do for all the other tech companies, hell all large companies.

          The FTC really fucked up the judge even pointed out they did not even look into what could happen if MS possibly pulled other Activision/Blizzard games from PlayStation.

          FTC's year and half investigation (told about acquisition in feb 2022) and all they have is CoD and MS bad.

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