Microsoft, Sony, and Call of Duty (Premium)


Sony and Microsoft are engaged in a war of words in legal filings aimed largely at determining the future of the Call of Duty franchise. There’s a lot at stake here, given the billions of dollars that Call of Duty generates every year. But this problem is easily solved.

Microsoft’s blockbuster Activision Blizzard $67.8 acquisition attempt is an interesting wrinkle in the ongoing debates about console exclusives and the recent shift to subscription-based cloud gaming, of course. But the basics are the same, and, more specifically, Sony and Microsoft have been at war over Call of Duty for 15 years. It started when Microsoft obtained an exclusivity arrangement with Activision in 2007, ensuring that map packs---what we now called Downloadable Content (DLC)---appeared first on Xbox 360, ensuring that that console was the go-to for first-person shooter fans. And then it escalated in 2015, when Sony snatched away those rights for PlayStation, suddenly making Xbox gamers second-class Call of Duty citizens going forward.

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