Activision CEO Demanded Greater Share of Call of Duty Sales for Xbox Series X/S: Microsoft Court Battle Reveals

Activision CEO Demanded Greater Share of Call of Duty Sales for Xbox Series X/S Release

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick demanded a greater share of Call of Duty sales in order to bring the blockbuster series to Xbox Series X/S, according to Xbox corporate vice president Sarah Bond.

Bond revealed this information during Microsoft’s court battle against the US Federal Trade Commission to block the company’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Xbox’s Concerns and Acceptance of Activision’s Demands

In preparation for the Xbox Series X/S launch in 2020, Bond claimed that Kotick demanded an improvement on the industry’s revenue split model. Currently, platform holders take a 30% cut of software sales on their consoles, with the remaining 70% going to the publishers.

Activision insisted on using Microsoft’s next-gen development kits only after a deal was reached. Microsoft was also worried about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War being released for PS5 but not Xbox Series X/S. To ensure the game’s availability on Xbox, the platform holder accepted Activision’s demands.

Sony’s Response to the Acquisition

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) stated that it would withhold details about its next console from Activision if the acquisition went through. SIE boss Jim Ryan emphasized that past collaboration with Activision led to the development of better features on PlayStation consoles, giving them a competitive edge. Ryan believed that this partnership would be lost if Activision became Microsoft-owned.

Sony is a major opponent of the planned merger, and Ryan is due to testify as a court witness on Friday to support the FTC’s case against the deal.

Xbox claims Activision demanded a bigger revenue share to put Call of Duty on Series X/S

Bethesda’s Testimony on Game Development

During the court proceedings, Bethesda’s publishing boss Pete Hines stated that plans for a PS5 version of the upcoming Indiana Jones game were cancelled after Microsoft acquired the company. Hines also revealed that Starfield would not release in September if it were coming to PS5 as well.

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