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Will Call of Duty remain on PlayStation?

A masked soldier holding a gun in Modern Warfare 2
(Image credit: Activision)

Will Call of Duty remain on PlayStation?

Best answer: Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation for at least three more releases (ending in 2024), according to those familiar with the current agreement between Activision and Sony. Microsoft has offered to keep it on PlayStation for three additional years after the current agreement ends, but Sony has called that offer "inadequate."

What's going on with Call of Duty?

Call of Duty is in an interesting situation right now. PlayStation and Activision currently have a marketing deal set to go on for at least another couple of years, but Microsoft announced it would be acquiring Call of Duty publisher Activision (opens in new tab) for nearly $69 billion in early 2022. This would make Microsoft the owner of the franchise when the deal goes through, which is expected to happen in 2023. 

Despite this, existing agreements need to be honored, meaning that Call of Duty will remain multiplatform for the time being, releasing on PS5 alongside Xbox and PC. 

Sony has attempted to sway regulatory boards by underscoring just how valuable Call of Duty as a franchise is to the PlayStation community (opens in new tab) — and there's no denying many people see it to be one of the must-have PS5 games out there — but in all likelihood, this won't affect Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard or its future plans for the series. 

How long will Call of Duty remain on PlayStation for?

A report from Bloomberg (opens in new tab) implied that Sony's marketing deal with Call of Duty would expire in two years, indicating that 2024 would be the last time Microsoft was obligated to release the franchise on competing platforms. Later speaking to The Verge, Xbox head Phil Spencer stated that the company provided Sony a signed agreement that guaranteed Call of Duty would release on PlayStation "for at least several more years beyond the current Sony contract."

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan came out to clarify that the terms Spencer offered were only for three years after the existing contract ends. Speaking with GameIndustry.biz, Ryan said, "Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle."

This seems to suggest, should the offer remain, that Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation until 2027. Whether or not Sony will agree to this contract is unclear, but for the moment, it doesn't appear to be acceptable to the company. 

Will Call of Duty be exclusive to Xbox?

After whatever existing deal between Sony and Activision ends and a new deal isn't made between Microsoft and Sony, Call of Duty will likely become exclusive to Xbox consoles and PC. This occurred after Microsoft's ZeniMax Media acquisition in 2021. ZeniMax is the parent company of big video game studios like Bethesda, and some of its biggest franchises like The Elder Scrolls will become Xbox exclusive with future releases. 

Fortunately for PlayStation users, this won't happen for another few years at the earliest. We'll be sure to keep you posted if anything changes because as long as the Microsoft deal is still with regulators, we're bound to hear more.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.