Call of Duty's PlayStation Deal Only Includes 1 More Game


PlayStation inadvertently disclosed the end date of its marketing deal with Call of Duty, shedding light on a long-standing rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation for exclusive deals with Activision's blockbuster franchise. The Call of Duty series is renowned for its immense commercial success, generating staggering revenue year after year. For the past thirteen years, both Xbox and PlayStation have competed to secure special agreements with Activision, primarily centered around marketing and exclusive content, although the latter has diminished in significance in recent times. These deals offer invaluable opportunities for platform holders to promote their consoles alongside the biggest video game franchise, positioning their platforms as the premier choice for Call of Duty enthusiasts during the holiday season.

In 2015, PlayStation won the marketing rights for Call of Duty, effectively wresting them away from Xbox starting with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Since then, PlayStation has leveraged these rights to gain early access to downloadable content (DLC), game modes, and even secured a 30-day exclusivity window for the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered campaign. The expiration dates of these deals have typically remained confidential, but Sony inadvertently revealed the exact timeline. As part of the ongoing legal dispute surrounding Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, PlayStation accidentally disclosed the end date in certain documents that were intended to be redacted but remained legible. Although these documents were subsequently pulled, The Verge was able to uncover the information. It is now confirmed that PlayStation's Call of Duty deal will conclude with the release of the next game, rumored to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, expected later this year.

The outcome beyond this point remains uncertain. If the Activision/Xbox deal falls through, Sony might consider renewing its agreement. Conversely, Microsoft may attempt to bid for these marketing rights as a means of compensating for its failed attempt to fully acquire Activision. However, if the acquisition deal does proceed, it is highly unlikely that PlayStation will secure the marketing rights again in the future.

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