Xbox has offered PlayStation a 10-year deal for Call of Duty, and Sony declined to comment

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is trying to buy Activision-Blizzard for $69 billion.
  • Sony is a huge opponent of the deal, going to regulators to speak out against the proposals, often using Call of Duty as a bargaining chip.
  • Microsoft said it offered Sony a 10-year deal for Call of Duty, up from the previous 3-year offer.
  • Sony has declined to comment.

A new report in the New York Times gives us an update on the ensuing drama between Microsoft and regulators over its $69 billion merger with Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft has been battling with regulators on both sides of the Atlantic to get approval for a massive deal for the creators of Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush and many other major games. Microsoft said the deal is more about mobile gaming, as Microsoft’s footprint is relatively small in an industry dominated by Chinese giants like Tencent.

Merging with Activision gives Microsoft the tools it needs to bring Xbox gamers and Xbox developers to a whole new audience on phones and tablets. The growing mobile gaming sector has become a dominant force in several major economies, and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t also start devouring the relatively stable gaming hardware market in the coming years. To that end, Microsoft is looking to bring titles like Call of Duty Mobile into the fold, while also backing its nascent subscription service Xbox Game Pass with a host of new content, offering games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for $10 a month along with hundreds of games. the other, instead of picking up the game for $70, as it currently is.

(Image credit: Activision)

One of the biggest opponents of the deal is Sony, which is Microsoft’s main competitor in the console space. While most other publishers have generally said little to denounce the deal, rival platform owners like PlayStation and Google have quietly (not so quietly) expressed their “concern” to regulators that Microsoft could end up with too much power in the space if it seeks to shut down games. Like Call of Duty from their platforms. Microsoft responded, noting that it had no plans to at least remove Call of Duty from PlayStation, initially offering Sony a 3-year contract that guaranteed access to the game. PlayStation previously said this wasn’t good enough.

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