We now know when PlayStation’s marketing deal with Call of Duty will end. Marketing deals are a pretty important thing for platforms. Xbox and PlayStation invest a lot of money in its first-party games like Halo and The Last of Us, but they can only release so many big, high-quality first-party games every year. That’s why it’s important for these platforms to go out and make deals with third-party publishers like Activision to secure lucrative marketing deals that allow them to communicate to fans of franchises like Call of Duty why they should play the series on their platform. Given Call of Duty is one of the biggest franchises in gaming, this has been something the two big platforms have fought over for years. Xbox had it for quite some time, allowing them to sort of cultivate a “dude bro shooters” branding for the console which helped curate a very specific audience.
However, things changed with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 as PlayStation secured a marketing deal for the series. This resulted in PlayStation getting early access to content such as betas and map packs as well as exclusive content as a whole, which still continues to this day. Now, PlayStation fears losing Call of Duty as a whole with Microsoft making moves to purchase Activision. Although Xbox has promised to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, Sony isn’t ok with the deal on any level. However, there’s still a way for Xbox to gain some significant control over the Call of Duty franchise in the future. As relayed by CharlieIntel, Microsoft President Brad Smith told CNBC that PlayStation’s deal with Call of Duty ends in 2024.
If that’s the case and the Xbox acquisition falls through, there’s a chance Xbox may make moves to claim the deal itself. Activision has expressed frustration with Sony’s interference in the deal, so that could sour the relationship entirely. Given Microsoft is already putting up $70 billion for this acquisition, it’s not hard to imagine it secures the marketing deal and possibly even throws in some extra money to bring Call of Duty to Xbox Game Pass, but that’s pure speculation.
What do you think about the future of Call of Duty? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.