Sony has just reacted to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which pretty much took the video games industry by surprise on Monday. In a statement shared with The Wall Street Journal, a Sony spokesperson said that the Japanese company expects Microsoft to not change Activision’s current strategy to release its blockbuster games on multiple platforms including PlayStation consoles.
"We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform," the Sony spokesperson said. Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming also shared a reassuring statement on Monday, saying that "Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward."
Activision Blizzard will continue to operate independently until Microsoft completes the acquisition of the company in its fiscal year 2023, so the relationships between Sony and Activision should remain business as usual until June 2023. However, Microsoft likely didn’t spend $68.7 billion to keep releasing future Activision games on PlayStation consoles forever.
Sony has enjoyed good relationships with Activision for years, with the company benefiting from a marketing deal for Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles. In recent years, PlayStation pretty much became the best platform to play Call of Duty games thanks to exclusive content and in-game bonuses. These advantages for PlayStation gamers may eventually go away, but it’s still hard to know if future Call of Duty games could skip PlayStation entirely.
Activision also owns several IPs deeply associated with the PlayStation brand such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, and the future of these franchises on PlayStation consoles is also unclear. Following its acquisition of Bethesda last year, Microsoft said that future games will be released on PlayStation "on a case-by-case basis," but we already know that Bethesda's much-anticipated Starfield game will be exclusive to Microsoft platforms.