Xbox and PlayStation call a truce over Call of Duty and enter into binding agreement


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May 16, 2023
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It'll be interesting to see how the length of the contract is specified. I'm not sure length in years alone will define what Sony is guaranteed given that COD is almost certainly moving off the annual release schedule.

Last year's COD sales proved that the annual releases are cannibalizing each other and reducing the franchise ROI as well as tying up resources that woud be best deployed on other project$.
Plus, they need to clear up space for the other MS FPS properties. Again, no need to compete among themselves.

So MS might guarantee Sony a specific number of releases instead of years, so long as Sony delivers the requisite dev kits in a timely fashion. A point made clear in court when the FTC tried to pin on Microsoft the delay in getting out a PS5-optimized MINECRAFT when it was Sony that refused the dev kits needed for the optimization.

Also of interest, given the revelations in court about Sony's demand for Bethesda games is what MS might get them to cough up if they truly want any of them.

Lost in the catfight is that the other big multiplatform publshers have been supportive of the MS ABK deal because it provides a counter to Sony's market power because of how they've abused it with practices like charging to allow cross play which have not endeared them to the publishers.

Sony may remain top dog for now but if the high end console market is as tapped out as it seems (and their grudging release of PC versions suggests it is) their brand loyalty may be reaching its limits.

We may yet see Sony go multiplat out of need. Which would finally end the stupid console war and benefit everybody.

Edit: The Verge is reporting the deal is ten years and, unlike the original MS offer in 2022, *only* for CoD. That is interesting by itself. Not only did Sony tarnish its own brand, by trying to use regulators to protect their market position they are getting less than originally offered, which was for all existing ABK franchises. Retaliation can be sweet.
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