Xbox is completing its acquisition of Activision Blizzard and PlayStation players hoping to enjoy years of Call of Duty games to come on their PS5 consoles might be worried about what this merger means for them – and, rightfully so. After Starfield (one of the biggest games of 2023) releasing as an Xbox exclusive, there’s technically nothing stopping Xbox treating the COD franchise the same way. Thankfully, though, Xbox head Phil Spencer has once again affirmed that Call of Duty PS5 content parity is the plan – even though Xbox owns the IP.
The Call of Duty franchise isn’t just one of the biggest FPS series out there, it’s also home to some of the best FPS games of all time and – when talking about new PS5 games and new Xbox games – it’s always something to look forward to. So, despite enjoying several years of favoritism from Activision Blizzard, PS5 players are worried that they’re going to start missing out on upcoming content due to the fact that – as of a handful of days ago – Xbox owns the whole thing.
While this isn’t something Xbox has mentioned, it’s an understandable concern for PlayStation players; they’re the ones who have enjoyed exclusive content and additional beta dates over the years, after all. It really wouldn’t be outrageous to imagine that the pendulum could swing in the other direction and offer Xbox players a chance to enjoy some exclusives.
However, during an interview on the Official Xbox Podcast, Spencer makes it absolutely clear that Xbox wants “Call of Duty players on PlayStation… to feel 100% part of the community” when it comes to the franchise.
“The goal is 100% parity on across all platforms, as much as we can for launching content,” Spencer affirms. His phrasing is undeniably a reference to the fact that the Xbox Series S and Nintendo Switch can’t deliver the same resolutions and quality as the Xbox Series X and PS5 – not a reference to restricting content for PlayStation players. This is something Spencer himself clarifies, as you can see below at around the 14:10 mark in the podcast recording.
Spencer also goes on to add that Xbox “has no goal to somehow try to use Call of Duty to get you to buy an Xbox console”. Of course, we can imagine that Xbox would enjoy that, but Spencer is well aware of how console exclusives in Call of Duty affect those who don’t have access to them and hopes to bring everyone together through parity and fairness. It’s an aspirational goal, and one we can see Xbox achieving once Activision Blizzard’s deal with PlayStation has run its course.
Of course, though, you still won’t be able to play any Xbox exclusives on PlayStation consoles in the same way you won’t be able to play PS5 exclusives on an Xbox. When it comes to Call of Duty, though, you don’t have anything to worry about – at least for a while yet. The fact that Microsoft is keeping older Call of Duty games alive, not Activision, is a sign that it wants to bring these games to as many people as it can.
We could, though, see Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass in the future; that’s something we’re not sure PlayStation players can expect to see when it comes to the free PS Plus games available to them. You won’t see MW3 on Game Pass when the Modern Warfare 3 release date rolls around, though, so you may want to check out the latest MW3 pre-orders ahead of Modern Warfare 3 early access this time around.