Activision Will Not Launch Games On Subscription Services If Microsoft Deal Fails

No Call of Duty On Subscriptions!

The Call of Duty franchise is among the biggest gaming properties. While the franchise continues to set new records, it has recently become a point of contention for Microsoft and Sony as Microsoft attempts to acquire Activision.

News of Microsoft’s Activision acquisition has been circulating for months, and new information continues to show up rapidly. A recent report by Microsoft states that the company has no plans to launch its game on any subscription service if the Microsoft deal falls through.

Microsoft-Activision Merger CMA
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According to the video game publisher, adding their titles to Game Pass or PlayStation Plus “would dilute the brand and reduce buy-to-play sales.”

Activision and Sony had agreed to a significant multi-year marketing and licensing agreement that provided PlayStation with exclusive content. The contract also included a clause that Activision would not be allowed to publish its games on a subscription service.

Some reports indicate that this old Sony-Activision deal will last into 2024. This means that even if Microsoft ends up acquiring Activision, they will not put Call of Duty or any Activision game on Xbox Game Pass. It is important to remember that Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, publicly stated that Microsoft would honor all of Activision’s current contracts.

So if the deal with Microsoft goes through, it would mean Call of Duty will become the most notable exception to Xbox Game Pass plans – which essentially include adding every first-party game they release or currently possess to the service.

Full-game sales and microtransactions are enormous assets for the Call of Duty franchise, and disruption in sales would considerably impact the Call of Duty franchise. Furthermore, the franchise also sold $25 million copies of various titles in 2021, including older Call of Duty games. Therefore, it makes sense that Activision is reluctant to adopt the subscription model without Microsoft’s acquisition.

For now, Sony and Microsoft continue to go back and forth on the Activision acquisition, and it remains to be seen if Microsoft will be successful in this massive endeavor.

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