The news of Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard is massive, and it’s triggering lots of questions in gamers’ minds. One such question revolves around the perennial console war: will Activision Blizzard games still be on PlayStation consoles?
The short answer is a murky “we don’t know yet,” but that’s not very sufficient. By examining the wording of the news and the past trends of other acquired Xbox studios, we can start to make much more educated predictions.
PlayStation is, understandably, not named in the official Microsoft announcement — though Sony itself is. “When the transaction closes,” the press release says, “Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.” With PlayStation still ahead of Xbox in that regard, it would make business sense for Xbox to hamstring its competition by making more games available only on its platforms.
Looking at the previous acquisitions of Bethesda and ZeniMax Media, we can see a few examples of this. Titles like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo were already well into development by the time Xbox scooped their developers up, so they remained timed PlayStation 5 exclusives. It’s safe to assume that the same will apply to many Activision Blizzard projects that are already far along. On the other hand, Starfield will launch exclusively on Xbox Series X/S this fall, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer views The Elder Scrolls VI as an exclusive as well. Don’t be surprised to see this same mentality applied to more games in the future.
All of that said, there’s still a window before Activision Blizzard games will fall under Xbox jurisdiction. According to Bobby Kotick’s own announcement, he expects the acquisition to be finalized “sometime in Microsoft’s fiscal 2023 year ending June 30, 2023.” Furthermore, Bloomberg reports that Activision Blizzard games will release as normal on all platforms, but with Xbox-exclusive content. So no matter how the deal shakes out for Activision Blizzard games on PlayStation, no changes will come into effect until after the fiscal year 2023 window.