Now that Xbox has announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, could future Call of Duty games no longer be playable on the PS5?

In case you somehow missed arguably the largest piece of video game news in the last decade, yesterday Microsoft announced that it was getting prepped to buy out Activision Blizzard.

It’s a deal that is worth an absolutely ludicrous $68.7 billion.

It also means that huge franchises like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, Crash Bandicoot and more may soon fall under the Xbox umbrella.

If you’re an Xbox gamer, it’s a wild time to be alive. But if you’ve just bought yourself a PS5 then your future isn’t so clear.

In a recent report via Bloomberg Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft gaming, had the following to say about the news:

“I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that.”

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That might sound like a vague corporate sentence, but there’s a bit of detective work that can be teased out here.

What Spencer could be indicating is that existing titles like Call of Duty Warzone, an absolute cash cow for the company, may very well stay on the PlayStation platforms the game is already on. History shows this is likely the case, with Minecraft – also now a Microsoft-owned property – continuing to be available on all major competitors.

As for the future instalments of Call of Duty… well you might want to sit down.

When Xbox purchased Bethesda last year, Phil Spencer danced around the subject of exclusivity for quite some time. While originally the head honcho claimed games with a ‘history’ would continue to exist on competing platforms, he eventually said the following in an Xbox roundtable:

“…if you’re an Xbox customer the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you, that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. That’s our goal. That’s why we’re doing this. That’s the root of this partnership that we’re building. The creative capability we will be able to bring to market for Xbox customers is going to be the best it’s ever been for Xbox after we’re done here.”

Today, Bethesda’s biggest game of 2022, Starfield, is an Xbox exclusive. Of course it is. It’s a huge title and an incredibly appealing reason to buy into the Xbox Game Pass platform.

And that perhaps leads us to our main point: if you’re Microsoft, you’re probably not spending $68.7 billion to publish your games on other platforms. It just doesn’t make sense.

If you’re a PlayStation gamer you don’t need to read the tea leaves to see the warning signs. By 2024 there’s every chance that Activision franchises like Call of Duty, Tony Hawk and Crash Bandicoot are all Xbox exclusives and very unavailable on PS5. That’s a very real reality.

How Sony decides to respond – well that’s a whole other question.

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