Microsoft has reportedly offered Sony the rights to offer Call of Duty on its PlayStation Plus subscription service.
That’s according to Bloomberg, which claims that the offer has been made in an effort to appease the US’s FTC and get is $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard approved.
The publication claims that Microsoft has offered the concession in addition to its 10-year offer to release the franchise on PlayStation consoles. It recently entered a similar agreement with Nintendo.
Bloomberg understands that Sony has yet to accept the deal, as it continues to fight against the merger which would see Microsoft take control of the industry’s largest third party, and one of its largest franchises.
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Microsoft giving Sony the ability to include the franchise as part of its subscription offering could be a step to offset the argument that Microsoft would be able to unfairly compete, by offering the world’s biggest multi-platform console game for a small monthly fee in its ecosystem.
Call of Duty, the monolithic shooter franchise that regularly tops the best-selling lists for console games could, theoretically, have become exclusive to Microsoft platforms following this deal.
However, since the announcement of Microsoft’s intention to acquire Activision Blizzard, the company has assured that it wouldn’t lock away the game for at least a decade.
This hasn’t stopped Sony from using the game as one of its lynchpin arguments to regulators against the deal.
Microsoft’s Gaming CEO Phil Spencer recently claimed on the Second Request podcast that “Sony is leading the dialogue around why the deal shouldn’t go through to protect its dominant position on console, so the thing they grab onto is Call of Duty.”
He continued, “The largest console maker in the world raising an objection about the one franchise that we’ve said will continue to ship on the platform. It’s a deal that benefits customers through choice and access.”
On Thursday, the US regulator said it was attempting to block the $68.7 billion deal because it believed it would enable Microsoft to “suppress competitors” to its Xbox consoles and its subscription content and cloud gaming business.
Last week Microsoft president Brad Smith provided more details in a Wall Street Journal editorial on the company’s offer to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation.