In a surprising turn of events, court documents from the ongoing Microsoft-FTC trial have inadvertently revealed that Sony’s exclusive contract with Activision for the Call of Duty franchise will end following the release of the highly anticipated game scheduled for late 2023.
The revelation came to light when excerpts from a letter written by PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan were obtained by The Verge, shedding light on the upcoming changes in the long-standing partnership.
The contractual agreement, which commenced in 2015 with the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, has granted PlayStation users various privileges, including early access to maps, weapons, and exclusive content ahead of other gaming platforms.
Additionally, Activision incorporated PlayStation branding in advertisements and introduced platform-specific features to enhance the gaming experience for PlayStation users.
PlayStation’s prominent role as the “home of Call of Duty” was underscored during the previous generation, following a notable shift from Microsoft’s marketing relationship with Activision. Before the deal with Sony, Microsoft had enjoyed exclusive rights to early Call of Duty map pack releases on Xbox platforms.
While the contract’s expiration suggests an impending change in the marketing landscape for the franchise, it is unlikely to hinder future Call of Duty releases on PlayStation. Microsoft has consistently emphasized its commitment to making Call of Duty available on PlayStation, even if its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard  successfully materializes.
This assurance will likely allay concerns among the Call of Duty fanbase, ensuring continued support for PlayStation as a gaming platform.
As the curtain closes on this chapter of the exclusive partnership between Sony and Activision, gamers and industry enthusiasts eagerly anticipate how the future of the Call of Duty franchise will unfold. While specific details regarding the post-2023 arrangements remain undisclosed, it is reassuring to know that Activision’s commitment to supporting PlayStation is unwavering regardless of the outcome.
The gaming community will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on the developments in this space, eagerly awaiting further announcements from Sony and Activision as they navigate the ever-evolving gaming industry landscape.