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There's one massive question on the minds of gamers around the world in the wake of the news that Microsoft intends to buy Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion: Will Call Of Duty become an Xbox-exclusive franchise.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it's nearing a deal to scoop up the Call Of Duty publisher and its vast stable of franchises. Assuming it goes through, the likes of Call Of Duty, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro would all become Xbox IP.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the franchises would then become Xbox exclusive. There's a lot up in the air right now, and Microsoft simply isn't committing to anything one way or the other at this early stage.
"Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward," Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in a statement earlier today. You may recall that there was similarly vague talk about Bethesda's future on PlayStation in the wake of the Microsoft/Zenimax buyout. We now know, of course, that the likes of Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI will be Xbox-exclusive releases. Will Call Of Duty follow suit?
We're not so sure. Call Of Duty is one of the biggest franchises on the planet, far more popular than anything Bethesda owns. Keeping it multiplatform would simply make more financial sense than allowing The Elder Scrolls VI to appear on PlayStation 5, though Xbox users would likely get plenty of exclusive advantages.
For one thing, new Call Of Duty games are almost certain to launch via Xbox Game Pass, while exclusive cosmetics and modes will surely move from PlayStation to Microsoft's hardware.
A Bloomberg report has also suggested that Microsoft absolutely intends to leave "some" Activision Blizzard games available for PlayStation while keeping certain exclusive content for Xbox platforms.
Meanwhile, reporter and industry insider Jeff Grubb has speculated that Warzone will remain a multiplatform, while mainline Call Of Duty entries could become Xbox-exclusive. At this point, of course, all we can really do is speculate, and wait to see what happens.
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