Sony and Activision’s deal blocks Call of Duty from Xbox Game Pass for “years”

Liam Mackay
Price and Gaz fistbumping in Modern Warfare 2

Microsoft are still in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, taking the Call of Duty franchise under their ownership. Microsoft have confirmed their intent to bring Call of Duty to Xbox Game Pass, but Activision’s deal with Sony blocks it from happening for “a number of years.”

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is one of the biggest deals in gaming, where the Xbox owner is attempting to take massive franchises such as Call of Duty and Overwatch under their ownership. Microsoft still have to jump through a few hurdles before it’s a done deal though, getting approval from governments around the world.

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Sony have also been expressing concern, but Microsoft assured them that PlayStation will get “the same version of Call of Duty,” and that they intend to “honor all existing agreements” and “keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.”

Currently, Sony and Activision Blizzard’s deal allows PlayStation players to receive exclusive benefits such as early access to Modern Warfare 2’s beta, an exclusive Operator, and Combat Packs for Warzone.

As confirmed in documents filed to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, Sony and Activision Blizzard’s agreement includes a clause that blocks Call of Duty games from being on Xbox Game Pass “for a number of years.”

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Referring to Phil Spencer’s “intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” the document confirms that “the agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on the ability of Activision Blizzard to place Call of Duty titles on Game Pass for a number of years.”

Microsoft previously confirmed their intent to make “Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games – including Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty – available in Game Pass.”

What this all means for Call of Duty coming to Game Pass remains to be seen. If CoD games arrive on Game Pass, it might not be for “a number of years,” per the deal. But, Microsoft are insistent that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation.

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Image Credit: Activision

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About The Author

Liam is CharlieIntel's Editor who focuses on Call of Duty but also plays lots of fantasy RPGs or anything else in his massive gaming backlog. After graduating in Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, Liam freelanced in games journalism before joining CharlieIntel in November 2020. You can contact Liam at [email protected].