Editor's take: Sony's deal with Microsoft is likely the best case scenario given the current circumstances, but it is not failproof. Even with a multi-platform approach, there are ways to play favorites and make games like CoD more attractive on certain platforms. In the past, for example, we've seen major CoD DLC packs launch on preferred platforms up to one month early. Microsoft could also tinker with revenue splits on sales to put Sony on an uneven playing field.

Microsoft's $69 billion takeover bid of Activision was on track to be the company's largest acquisition to date when it was first announced in January 2022. Almost immediately, fear spread through the community that Microsoft might make future releases from popular franchises like Call of Duty exclusive to its own platforms. In that scenario, diehard CoD fans might ditch the PlayStation and move to Xbox or PC for their fix which would be problematic for Sony.

The acquisition prompted months of pushback from regulators over competition concerns. Microsoft pressed forward, insisting it planned to expand the franchise to even more platforms than it is available on today.

Redmond even inked decade-long Call of Duty distribution deals with Nvidia, Nintendo, and Boosteroid in an attempt to convince regulators that it was not interested in making the franchise a platform exclusive post acquisition. Microsoft also made it clear during this time that it wasn't interested in Activision if Call of Duty was not part of the package.

Related reading: 20 Years of Call of Duty

Following a recent victory against the FTC in federal court and UK regulators coming to the negotiating table, the matter seems all but settled. With all other options exhausted, Sony had little choice but to agree to Microsoft's 10-year deal to ensure Call of Duty does not leave the PlayStation anytime soon.

The next game in the long-running first-person shooter, a direct sequel to last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, is due out in November.

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