Microsoft Keeps the Door Open for Activision Games on PlayStation

Microsoft’s massive announcement today regarding Activision Blizzard might not be the nail in the coffin for PlayStation support.

It was not a good morning to wake up for PlayStation players. In a stunning move, Microsoft announced their intention to purchase Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion in cash. If the acquisition goes through, this will give Microsoft control of the powerful Call of Duty franchise, as well as the likes of World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro. For a PlayStation player, this looks like all doom and gloom, but there’s reason to believe that it’s not quite the time to panic.

First off, if this deal is approved, Activision Blizzard would not fully join Microsoft until after June 30, 2023. So, until then, players can expect all upcoming titles for 2022 and, likely, 2023, to appear on PlayStation. That includes Call of Duty 2022 and likely Call of Duty 2023, Overwatch 2, and Diablo IV.

Secondly, it appears that Microsoft is keeping the door open to developing some Activision games on PlayStation. Via Bloomberg sources, “Microsoft plans to keep making some of Activision’s games for PlayStation consoles but will also keep some content exclusive to Xbox.” The yearly multi-billion dollar Call of Duty franchise is likely a prime candidate to see continued release on PlayStation platforms. Meanwhile, smaller titles like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Crash Bandicoot might find themselves as Xbox exclusives.

Bolstering this line of thinking is a statement provided to Axios from Microsoft PR. According to the statement, the goal of this acquisition is about increasing content across more platforms, including mobile:

“AB games exist on a variety of platforms today, and we plan to continue supporting those communities moving forward. The acquisition is about increasing the availability of Activision Blizzard content across more platforms, including mobile.”

Of course, it’s hard to forget the sting of 2020 when Microsoft acquired Bethesda Softworks. At the time, all Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer would commit to was honoring current communities and existing deals. Upcoming titles like Starfield are exclusive to Xbox and PC. However, the Activision deal might be something different. Not only is the acquisition larger than the Bethesda deal ,but the live service aspects of games like Call of Duty and Overwatch bring in far more revenue the more platforms they’re on. With the Bethesda and Mojang acquisitions, we’ve seen Microsoft continue to support and release games with more live service elements on PlayStation.

While we likely won’t have a definitive answer as to what Microsoft will do with Activision Blizzard IP until 2023, there are at least some signs that it’s not quite the end of the road for PlayStation support. Hopefully, Microsoft and Activision will keep players in the loop as the acquisition moves through legal proceedings.