Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard entered its second phase today, which means facing the scrutiny of regulatory bodies from the EU and the UK, along with the United States’ Federal Trade Commission. While this is all expected, Microsoft also put out a statement on Thursday detailing its intentions for Activision Blizzard’s biggest series, which includes bringing some of them to Game Pass.
In the statement, CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer said, “We intend to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games — including Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty — available on Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities.”
The company also used this statement to reaffirm something it has said many times in the past: that Call of Duty will continue to be released on PlayStation platforms. Microsoft says that it’s committed to “making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation the same day the game launches elsewhere.”
To help support this claim, Microsoft mentions its purchase of developer Mojang back in 2014, and the fact that Minecraft remains available on numerous platforms and devices.
While those massive franchises coming over to Game Pass seemed like one of the primary motivations for Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard in the first place, this is the first time that Microsoft has made its plans completely clear. Of course, before that can happen the deal will have to be approved by regulatory bodies around the world.
While the second phase scrutiny is expected for a deal of this size, UK regulators have already expressed concern that the inclusion of these franchises on Game Pass could limit competition, even if the game will still remain available on other platforms.