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Sony: Microsoft’s Call of Duty warranty for Playstation ‘inadequate’

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Microsoft is facing opposition in its quest to acquire Activision Blizzard, and the heat is coming from a predictable source: gaming rival Sony. According to Sony, Microsoft’s assurances about the availability of Call of Duty on PlayStation are “deficient on many levels”. While Sony will not be allowed to decide whether the deal will go through, regulators will have to consider the implications of the $68.7 billion acquisition for the games industry.

Microsoft has been shedding a tear lately and has already picked up Bethesda parent company ZeniMax. That gives it control over popular franchises like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, and Doom. Picking up Activision Blizzard adds StarCraft, Diablo and most notably Call of Duty. The military shooter is one of the most popular game franchises in the world, having sold over 400 million units over the past 20 years. There’s also the free-to-play Call of Duty Mobile, which has brought in $1 billion for the developer.

When Microsoft announced the purchase, it said Call of Duty (COD) would remain on PlayStation, at least for a while. Microsoft’s gaming CEO Phil Spencer recently told The Verge that Microsoft was committed to keeping COD on PlayStation for “a few more years” after the current deal, which expires around 2024.

In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation head Jim Ryan explained what “multiple” means. According to Ryan, Microsoft is only promising Sony three additional years of Call of Duty releases, with an end date set at roughly 2027. That could mean six more PlayStation COD games (including the upcoming Modern Warfare 2) if the developer gets its annual cadence. With the inevitable delays resulting from major corporate shake-ups, future releases may be delayed, giving Sony customers fewer tactical firing before Microsoft pulls the plug.

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