With Microsoft on the brink of acquiring publisher Activision Blizzard through a reported $70 billion deal, many questions surrounding the future of the Call of Duty franchise have come to the forefront. It does appear that some of these may have been answered, at least in terms of what fans can expect for the next few years. A new report has claimed that an agreement set in place before Microsoft’s acquisition will allow two more mainline titles and a sequel to the franchise’s battle royale spin-off to release on PlayStation before 2024.
Per Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, sources close to the deal have alleged that Activision Blizzard had previously come to terms with Sony on releasing a Call of Duty annually for PlayStation (along with Xbox and PC) until at least the end of 2023. Even more striking, the partnership is said to also revolve around a “new iteration” of Call of Duty: Warzone set to release by the end of next year. Although Schreier did not go into detail about whether this would be a new game entirely, it appears the battle royale could finally make its way to next-gen consoles with the release of this purported sequel.
No matter, this report does create skepticism whether Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and the rest of Xbox’s executives will extend this agreement beyond its expiration date. Last week, Spencer confirmed that Xbox does intend to honor “all existing agreements” with Sony, but it is clear now that the deal may not last as long as believed.
The report mentions that Microsoft’s plans for the franchise beyond these games are “hazier,” as the console creator will not only have to decide whether the franchise will continue to be on multiple platforms but also if it should carry on with its annual release cycle. It was last reported that even Activision executives had recently questioned whether to extend the development periods of later Call of Duty titles, despite releasing on a yearly basis since 2005.
Now, fans on PlayStation may be forced to wait for another 18 months for any solid answers concerning Call of Duty’s future, as Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard is expected to finalize in June 2023.