Call of Duty's next three titles will reportedly still be making their way to PlayStation consoles, despite Microsoft's recent acquisition of series publisher Activision Blizzard.
Following last week's buyout news, many questions still remain - not least how Activision Blizzard's current roster of multi-platform titles will be affected by the purchase, with many predicting that Xbox exclusivity might soon be on the cards for the publisher's biggest franchises under Microsoft's stewardship.
In an interview with Bloomberg last week, Xbox head Phil Spencer touched upon the issue, telling the publication, "I'll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony's platform: It's not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that." He expanded on that a few days later, tweeting, "Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honour all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation."
While Spencer's use of the word "desire" still throws up ample questions, we may now have a clearer idea of Call of Duty's immediate future on PlayStation consoles thanks to a new report from Bloomberg, which claims Sony and Activision had already made contractual agreements to release "at least" the next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation prior to the acquisition.
According to the publication, the first of these games will be Infinity Ward's new Call of Duty title - likely to be a new entry in the Modern Warfare series - releasing later this year, as well as a new title from Black Ops developer Treyarch, due in 2023. Somewhat surprisingly, Activision is also said to be prepping a "new iteration" of its free-to-play shooter Warzone, referred to as a Warzone 2 by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier on Twitter, for a release next year.
As for what might happen after that, it's currently unclear. With Microsoft's acquisition likely to be formalised next summer, and all contractual obligations with Sony reportedly set to be fulfilled by the end of next year, Microsoft may then decide it's time to start reaping the benefits of its $69BN acquisition and bring Call of Duty permanently into the Xbox fold as an exclusive title - much as it's done with Starfield following its Bethesda buyout.
It may, however, be quite some time before Microsoft is ready to make its plans public.