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During Merger Woes Microsoft Makes Indiana Jones Game Exclusive To Xbox

 |  June 24, 2023

During the first day of a trial to determine if Microsoft/Activision can proceed, a game designer testified that Microsoft stopped a developer from selling a highly-anticipated game on multiple consoles after the companies merged.

 Microsoft has stated that it has no intention of making Call of Duty games exclusive to Xbox after its proposed acquisition of Activision for $69 billion.

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking an injunction to stop Microsoft’s acquisition and has presented evidence that they cannot trust Microsoft’s assurances. The evidence includes Microsoft’s actions following their 2021 acquisition of ZeniMax.

Microsoft has stated that it will keep Call of Duty as a multi-platform franchise. In a legal filing, Microsoft says that taking Call of Duty away from PlayStation would not make sense. The franchise is profitable because it generates sales on many different platforms. The deal as structured can’t be profitable for Microsoft without PlayStation Call of Duty revenues.

Read more: Microsoft Teams Up With Epic Games To Have Fortnite On Xbox Cloud

 If Call of Duty became exclusive to one platform, it would make for a worse game and enrage the gaming community. Much of the game’s popularity stems from the way it brings together players who use competing consoles, according to Microsoft.

In a response filing, the FTC notes that Microsoft’s decision to make ZeniMax franchises exclusive carried the risk of upsetting the gaming community, but this did not prevent the decision. The response filing is heavily redacted.

The FTC cites an apology from Bethesda executive Pete Hines to PS5 owners regarding Starfield’s unavailability on the console. However, the FTC notes that the decision to maintain exclusivity still stands.