Phil Spencer pledges "100% parity" across Call of Duty in an attempt to reassure PS5 players

Phil Spencer
(Image credit: Xbox)

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has reiterated his offer of welcome to PlayStation players after the closure of the Xbox Activision deal.

In an appearance on the official Xbox podcast last night, Spencer said that "For Call of Duty players on PlayStation, and in the future on Nintendo, I want you to feel 100% part of the community. I don't want you to feel like there's content you're missing out, there are skins you're missing out, there's timing that you're missing out on. That's not the goal. The goal is 100% parity across all platforms as much as we can for launch and content."

Last week, as the deal closed, Spencer extended an olive branch to PS5 players who might have been affected by the acquisition, telling them, "You are welcome here - and will remain welcome." While Xbox now owns several major series including World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch, Call of Duty has proved a major sticking point for the merger, and the FPS series is clearly still on Spencer's mind.

With the caveat that not every platform will be able to compete in terms of performance, Spencer claims that "there's nothing else" that will change between versions of Call of Duty on different consoles, and that "we have no goal of somehow trying to use Call of Duty to get you to buy an Xbox console."

Spencer references the years during which Sony and Activision partnered to provide exclusive Call of Duty modes to PlayStation players, even noting that the ongoing Modern Warfare 3 open beta was not initially available on Xbox; "we've been on the other side of some of those times [...] I don't think that helps the game, and so it's the focus, if you're a PlayStation player, Nintendo player, PC player, or an Xbox console player, I want you to feel 100% part of the Call of Duty nation."

The phrase 'Call of Duty nation' aside, that sentiment from Spencer will be intended to reassure players worried that the series would suffer on Sony consoles under Microsoft's ownership. Back in March of this year, in an attempt to hinder the deal, PlayStation claimed that it was worried Microsoft would sabotage Call of Duty on its consoles, but Spencer's suggesting here that he doesn't see the value in any kind of diminished experience - it sounds like even beta access will have full parity, which is a long shot from development sabotage.

Now that the deal has gone through, Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation for at least 10 years. That's a long time in game development, so there's no telling what will happen in 2033, but Microsoft has previously suggested that it would be happy to extend that agreement. 

Elsewhere on the podcast, Spencer told Game Pass users not to expect Activision-Blizzard games on the platform until next year. 

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.