Microsoft has once again talked down Call of Duty being removed from PlayStation or being exclusive to the Xbox platform amid public scrutiny from regulators.
Today the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (the CMA, basically the UK's version of the FTC) publicly aired its concerns on Microsoft's proposed buyout of Activision-Blizzard. The CMA says it believes the deal has a "realistic prospect of significant lessening of competition" in key gaming markets because of Microsoft's existing cloud framework, its games console platform and services like Xbox Game Pass, and that Call of Duty and Candy Crush are so powerful that their acquisition could affect competitors and rivals.
Now Microsoft has responded to this report with a public blog post of its own, affirming that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation consoles. Spencer cites how Microsoft has been so open with Minecraft, however Minecraft hasn't released 8 separate premium games since 2014.
"We've heard that this deal might take franchises like Call of Duty away from the places where people currently play them. That's why, as we've said before, we are committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere.
"We will continue to enable people to play with each other across platforms and across devices. We know players benefit from this approach because we've done it with Minecraft, which continues to be available on multiple platforms and has expanded to even more since Mojang joined Microsoft in 2014.
"As we extend our gaming storefront across new devices and platforms, we will make sure that we do so in a manner that protects the ability of developers to choose how to distribute their games."
This isn't the first time Microsoft has talked down Call of Duty exclusivity, however the company has a hard time outright saying that all future and new Call of Duty games will also come to PlayStation.
The quote above links to a particular Tweet from Spencer that can be found below. The Tweet specifically mentions existing agreements, meaning the deals that Sony has made with Activision pre-merger offer, and that Microsoft has a "desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation." But keeping the series on PlayStation could refer to existing games on the platform.
In a recent interview, Bloomberg's Emily Chang directly asked Phil Spencer if Call of Duty games will come to PlayStation in perpetuity and Spencer didn't have an answer.
Emily Chang: "So how far does this go? Does this mean Activision games, that Call of Duty that you'll be able to play on any platform in perpetuity?"
Phil Spencer: "I don't know what means in forever, like when you think about how long. It's not for any kind of nefarious business reason, it's just like what did platforms mean 10 years ago, like I think the definition of some of these things might change over time. But our expectation is we want more people to play."