Update: According to Axios reporter Stephen Totilo (via Twitter), the Call of Duty deal is set to last for ten years pending the completion of the purchase. That means that assuming the Xbox Activision deal still goes ahead, Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation until at least 2033.
The length of the deal matches those that Microsoft made public earlier this year. As Sony attempted to hinder progress on the merger, Xbox made clear that it had offered a decade-long agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. That was an extension of an initial five-year offer, but several Xbox leads suggested that even the ten-year offer could be adjusted upwards in future.
Original story follows...
Sony and Microsoft have signed a "binding agreement" to keep Call of Duty on the PlayStation ecosystem following the completion of the Xbox Activision deal.
In a tweet this afternoon, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer confirmed that a deal has been agreed by the two rival platform holders to keep Call of Duty cross-platform – should Xbox's acquisition of Activision Blizzard close.
The ten year deal is similar to the one Microsoft signed with Nintendo, or something else entirely – Sony reportedly rejected such an agreement last year. This information will surely be provided in the days ahead.
Still, this is the conclusion of a bitter, months-long battle between the two companies. Call of Duty has been at the centre of Sony's concerns surrounding the merger, with the publisher arguing that the behemoth franchise being controlled by Microsoft would lessen competition within the industry. The signing of this agreement signals that the two parties have found some common ground in the days following the FTC's loss in court to block the merger.
Microsoft president Brad Smith also commented on the agreement, taking to Twitter with the following statement: "From Day One of this acquisition, we’ve been committed to addressing the concerns of regulators, platform and game developers, and consumers. Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before."
We're still waiting on the Call of Duty 2023 release date.