According to a new IGN report, Xbox corporate vice president Sarah Bond stated that Activision Blizzard demanded a larger revenue share from Microsoft in order to release new Call of Duty games on the Xbox platform.
Yesterday’s court case between Xbox (and Activision Blizzard) and the Federal Trade Commission regarding Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard revealed this information. Bond asserted in court that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick stated that the company would not release Call of Duty games – presumably new, upcoming ones – on the Xbox platform unless Microsoft shared more revenue.
“Time was limited,” Bond reportedly stated in court, per IGN. “We wanted to meet the expectations of the players, so in the end we determined that it was the best decision for the business.”
She stated elsewhere during Bond’s court appearance that a current agreement precludes Call of Duty from appearing on Xbox Game Pass before 2025. She also disclosed additional information regarding Xbox and Activision Blizzard’s marketing agreements.
“A year ago, when we wanted to show that Call of Duty Vanguard was launching on Xbox, we were told we could not say it on YouTube or any other place where customers who were not our own customers could see it, and we had to hold off for a period of time,” she said, adding that marketing it on Xbox’s website and social media accounts was acceptable. “However, when we film a showcase, viewers can watch it live on YouTube and other platforms […] and at the conclusion, we wanted to display a list that read, ‘Here are all the upcoming games for the next year.’ We were told we could not announce that Call of Duty would be released the following year.
Bond’s court appearance yesterday was covered in greater detail by IGN, so please visit their website for additional information.
Read about how we learned yesterday that Bethesda’s Indiana Jones game was originally a multiplatform game but will now release exclusively on Xbox and PC for more information about this court case.