Microsoft has reportedly told Sony that if the Activision-Blizzard acquisition goes through, it's still free to put Call of Duty on PlayStation Plus.
That's according to a new report from Bloomberg, citing an anonymous source familiar with the negotiations between the two companies. In November, Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles - as part of that deal, Sony would be free to offer Call of Duty as part of a PS Plus subscription, according to this report. Neither Sony nor Microsoft provided comments to Bloomberg.
The 10-year deal - and thus, the PS Plus guarantee - was offered weeks ago, before the recent FTC lawsuit. Either way, Sony has not accepted the deal. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan called an earlier offer from Microsoft to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years "inadequate on many levels".
Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher Activision-Blizzard would likely be the biggest such deal in the history of the games industry. But that's assuming it meets regulatory approval. Sony, which potentially has the most to lose if Activision stops being a third-party publisher, has been pushing back against it for some time, saying that deal would have "major negative implications for gamers". For its part, Microsoft says Sony is just "trying to protect its dominance".
Microsoft and Nintendo recently announced a 10-year "commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo" following the merger. Major Call of Duty titles have not appeared on Nintendo consoles in recent years, though that likely has more to do with Nintendo's less powerful consoles than any shadowy business dealings.
Despite the obstacles, Activision's CEO is confident the deal will close.