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Xbox says exclusive Call of Duty skins, timed content on the chopping block

Phil Spencer reiterates Microsoft’s 100% parity approach for all platforms
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Phil Spencer used the most recent episode of the official Xbox podcast to speak about what’s up next now that Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard. Among his points was to reiterate what Microsoft promised during the approval process of the deal: Games like Call of Duty would have “100% parity across all platforms as much as we can” in terms of features and modes, Spencer said. That means no timed content or exclusive skins for any platform.

This is something that’s not been the case for Call of Duty for a few years now, because Sony made a marketing deal with Activision Blizzard that guaranteed PS4 and PS5 players some extra goodies. That’s going to be a thing of the past soon, as the upcoming Modern Warfare 3 is the final game under this contract. This is an easy avenue for Microsoft to deliver on its promise of evening the field for owners of all platforms.

Phil Spencer during the Xbox Podcast.

Phil Spencer has reiterated Microsoft's stance on Call of Duty.

Spencer cited the recent beta tests for Modern Warfare 3, which were available on PlayStation exclusively for the first phase, as another example of something he thinks doesn’t help the game or the community – so that’s probably on the chopping block as well.

Microsoft has signed agreements with both Nintendo and Sony that obligate it to provide Call of Duty for their platforms in the next ten years. The PlayStation maker wanted nothing to do with that at first as it hoped to torpedo the acquisition entirely, but quickly folded after that resistance had proved futile.

The Xbox chief also reiterated what Activision Blizzard had already communicated ahead of the transaction being closed, namely that Activision Blizzard games won’t come to Xbox Game Pass until 2024. He stated that people shouldn’t expect any surprise drops of the company’s titles for the next few months.

In October 2023, Xbox Game Pass is set to add F1 Manager 2023 and Cities: Skylines 2, among other titles.