Microsoft has said that Activision games will continue to be available on a “variety of platforms.” Despite announcing the acquisition of Activision Blizzard earlier today, Microsoft isn’t sharing its plans for the future of the many franchises that come with the purchase. Immediate speculation from gamers and fans across the industry is that all of Activision’s games, including mega-franchises like Call of Duty, would become Xbox exclusive.
Today is a historic moment. We are excited to announce that the world-renowned franchises and talented people at @ATVI_AB will be joining Team Xbox!
— Xbox (@Xbox) January 18, 2022
However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said, “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms, and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.” Which is a very non-committal way of saying that things may or may not change. It’s also worth noting that Xbox exclusive games do technically support a “variety of platforms” right now. Most Xbox exclusives are currently released on Xbox, PC, and the Cloud at the same time. That’s a variety of platforms.
The question that most gamers will actually have is whether a “variety of platforms” includes PlayStation and Nintendo. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Microsoft does continue to support those platforms with Activision games. Minecraft is one of the company’s biggest games, and it is available on both Nintendo and PlayStation. Similarly, Microsoft honored the timed exclusivity of Deathloop on PlayStation despite it being a Besthesda game. Microsoft acquired Bethesda last year. However, Bethesda’s next big game, Starfield, is going to be an Xbox console exclusive. Something that would not have happened before the acquisition.
It’s likely that gamers, Xbox or otherwise, don’t see a difference with Activision game exclusives for the next year or two. Microsoft said that it expects the sale of Activision to be finalized in the first half of next year. So games coming out this year shouldn’t be affected. Whether that means Call of Duty 2023 will be an Xbox console exclusive remains to be seen.