[Update – January 20 @ 5:15 PM ET]: Xbox boss Phil Spencer released a new comment today on exclusive releases regarding the Activision Blizzard deal. In a Twitter message, Spencer said Microsoft intends to “honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.” Of course, Spencer didn’t clarify if this meant new CoD games or live service releases like Warzone. But it’ll be a matter of time before we know for sure.
The original story, published on January 19, is as follows.
There were a lot of questions following yesterday’s announcement that Microsoft was acquiring Activision Blizzard for the tune of a cool $68.7 billion USD. Namely, the thought that plagued many players minds was: will Diablo and Call of Duty be exclusive to Xbox and PC? Newly crowned Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer did say the company was planning on bringing AB franchises to Game Pass. However, would that mean Call of Duty fans on PlayStation need to migrate? In another statement by Spencer, this probably isn’t the case: Activision Blizzard games won’t be exclusive to Xbox and PC.
“I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that,” Spencer said in an interview with Bloomberg. From the sound of things, if you enjoy Call of Duty on your PlayStation console, you won’t need to worry about migrating elsewhere.
There will, however, be new ways to experience Activision Blizzard games. Yesterday, Spencer revealed that many of AB’s major franchises, such as Crash Bandicoot and Diablo, are heading to Game Pass. But not all, per se. The company “will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass,” according to Spencer. Right now, it’s unknown which franchises will make the leap. But imagining Crash Bandicoot 4 and its remakes all on Game Pass sure is nice.
Looking toward the future
When considering the acquisition, and what is exclusive to Xbox, I wonder about what the future looks like with Activision Blizzard games. Granted, the future of the company is still dicey, what with the ongoing harassment lawsuit. But what’s to happen with the company’s PC games launcher, Battle.net? Will it be left behind as games get moved to Game Pass?
Not likely. After all, you can play EA games on Game Pass today, but the publisher is still holding onto its Origin launcher. Granted, you can’t really compare Battle.net to Origin. One is clearly far more popular, as it is just about the only place to play Blizzard games like Overwatch and Hearthstone. I imagine that it’ll stick around, existing simultaneously with Game Pass.
There are still plenty of questions to be answered regarding the acquisition. For example: what’s to come of Activision Blizzard’s esports scene? Well, for that I suggest keeping an eye on our sister site Upcomer.