Report: Microsoft’s Call of Duty Offer to Sony Includes PlayStation Plus Access

As Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently facing several hurdles, the company has been recently forced to make some concessions to get regulators on its side. After Sony publicly complained that Microsoft’s initial offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 3 years was “inadequate on many levels,” Microsoft came back with a much better offer.

Last month, the company said that it offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, which Sony has declined so far. According to Bloomberg which cited a person familiar with the negotiations, Microsoft’s offer to Sony includes the right to make Call of Duty games available on Sony’s PlayStation Plus game subscription service, which had 45.4 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2022.

The risk of Microsoft making Xbox Game Pass the only subscription service where Call of Duty games are available has already been pointed out by Sony and regulators. Last week, the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, explaining that the deal could “enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.”

If the information obtained by Bloomberg is accurate, Microsoft including subscription service rights in its Call of Duty offer to Sony pretty much eliminates the risk of seeing the Redmond giant give preferential treatment to its own Xbox Game Pass service. Microsoft does plan to offer future Call of Duty games and other Activision Blizzard titles on day one on Xbox Game Pass, but Sony will allegedly be free to offer Call of Duty games to PlayStation Plus subscribers as well.

It has already been pointed out that the “Deluxe” and “Extra” tiers of Sony’s PlayStation Plus service already provide access to Microsoft-owned games such as The Elder Scrolls Online, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Pillars of Eternity. If Microsoft isn’t going to treat Call of Duty differently, Sony and regulators will need to find another argument to explain why this acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is going to hurt competition and gamers.

In addition to its Call of Duty offer to Sony, Microsoft also said that it has reached a 10-year deal with Nintendo to bring back Call of Duty games on the company’s consoles. The company also said that it would keep releasing Call of Duty games on Steam, which remains the leading game distribution platform on PC.

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