Phil Spencer Wants to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation With No Strings Attached, Thinks Having Contract With “Forever” in It Is “Silly”

With the on-going acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft now focused on Call of Duty, some assume that once Microsoft acquires Activision that the franchise would be exclusive to PC and Xbox platforms, even if Xbox boss Phil Spencer has already said that they are treating the franchise like Minecraft — a game owned by Microsoft but can be played on PlayStation consoles and other devices.

Given how PlayStation boss Jim Ryan outed the contract that Microsoft promised Call of Duty on PlayStation for just three more years (this doesn’t automatically mean that MS will pull COD from PlayStation consoles after the contract, by the way), Spencer has reiterated his stance that he wants Call of Duty on PlayStation with no strings attached., It won’t be tied into Game Pass or anything of the sort.

He shared his musings in a new podcast with The Verge:

Native Call of Duty on PlayStation, not linked to them having to carry Game Pass, not streaming. If they want a streaming version of Call of Duty we could do that as well, just like we do on our own consoles.

There’s nothing behind my back. It is the Call of Duty Modern Warfare II doing great on PlayStation, doing great on Xbox. The next game, the next, next, next, next, next [game]. Native on the platform, not having to subscribe to Game Pass. Sony does not have to take Game Pass on their platform to make that happen.

There’s nothing hidden. We want to continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation without any kind of weird ‘aha I figured out the gotcha’ as Phil said ‘our intent.’ I understand some people’s concerns on this, and I’m just trying to be as clear as I can be.

That said, he does does think putting the word “forever” in whatever contract that’s drawn up is a bit “silly.”


I support the players on PlayStation who want to play our games like Minecraft. We don’t expand Minecraft Dungeons and Minecraft Legends out of any contract we have with Sony, but the contract we have with our customers. That is what’s important. 

I understand in the optics of this deal that we might want to make — and I’m totally open to doing this — a contractual commitment to Sony for some number of years that says, “Okay, we’re going to continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation.” I’m totally open to that. No issue at all. This idea that we’re going to write a contract that says “forever” doesn’t make sense to any lawyer. There is obviously a business relationship between the royalty exchanges and other things. You’re not going to give up any ability to do what you need to do and the flexibility with the business in the future.

I do understand where Spencer is coming from, as having a legally binding contract with “forever” etched in there isn’t really something any company would want to do, but that said, from Sony’s point-of-view, if nothing legally binding is set, then MS can just as easily pull Call of Duty from PlayStation anytime they wish.

It’s a messy situation so far, and one we’re keeping our eyes and ears open for more info.

Source: The Verge

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