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Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard means Sony will have to start playing ball

Sony is going to have to play ball or lose Call of Duty.

Xbox activision blizzard merge
Image: Microsoft

If you haven’t heard the big news by now, surprise, Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion dollars. The internet seemed to react mostly the same, with many people surprised that Microsoft was up to purchase the maligned studio.

Even more, people were upset that malicious actor and CEO Bobby Kotick will be staying on board until at least March 2023. For a lot of people, this came as middling news at best, but I wanted to point out a shining spot in all of this!

Sony is going to have to change its stance on cross-platform or lose Call of Duty forever.

Before you say “Well Josh, Sony isn’t going to play ball with Microsoft. If they didn’t want to do it with Bethesda, they won’t do it with Activision,” I want to point something out here.

Bethesda has a few multiplayer options out there but nothing that they would consider a core title. No one is lining up to play Quake or Doom multiplayer these days. Activision’s baby, Call of Duty, on the other hand, is one of the top-selling games on both PS5 and PS4.

It’s also one of the most active titles on both consoles as well. That’s a deep cut for team Sony.

Sony is in hot water

Call of duty modern warfare plunder mode from activision
Image: Activision

At this point, you are probably thinking that much like The Elder Scrolls, Microsoft is going to make all future games from Activision exclusives to Xbox and PC. That’s certainly a possibility, however Xbox head, Phil Spencer, has been candidly open about working with Sony in the past.

Will it cost Sony and force them to change their business model? Yes. Would Sony still make tons of Call of Duty money? Also, yes.

If anything has been more disruptive over this newest console generation, it’s been all the silly stipulations Sony has been adding into the concept of everyone playing together. While the textbook response is that Sony wants to guarantee a quality experience on their platform, anyone that follows them knows that’s BS. Look no further than Genshin Impact to see what the deal is there.

Microsoft’s aggressive acquisitions this generation have most certainly put Sony into an interesting position. Do you shy away from easily the most popular multiplayer series for consoles in the world? That’s a lot of money and alienates your customers.

On the other side do you agree to work with your primary competition and give them a cut to continue to offer a powerhouse for your systems? They make less, but it’s absolutely a net gain overall.

We are still talking perfect world scenarios

Blizzard and activision logos
Image: Techspot

I’m mainly using conjecture here. There is a chance that Microsoft does flip Sony the bird and tells them that they are done with Call of Duty and any other Activision/Blizzard titles.

However, with the aggressive pushes made by team Xbox in regards to creating a uniform play-space, I also doubt it. Other games though like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Diablo, Sekiro, and others? Don’t expect to see another one of those on a PlayStation after 2023.

There are a few other positives out there, to be honest. Microsoft is likely going to stop pushing for ridiculous grand slam hits annually and will likely let games be developed at a rate that allows them to thrive.

It will also reduce the expectations of these studios, allowing them to take more risks too. I can absolutely see some smaller games based out of the World of Warcraft and Overwatch universes come to be.

What are your thoughts on the big news? End of an era or the beginning of something new? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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