In what proved to be the first day of testimony in Activision Blizzard’s Xbox trial, Vice President of Xbox Sarah Bond dropped another bombshell, claiming that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick demanded a larger share of the revenue to put Call of Duty on the consoles. Microsoft.
According to Bond, Kotick has made it clear that “if we don’t exceed the record revenue share, he intends not to put Call of Duty on Xbox.”
In the end, Bond said, Xbox decided to meet Activision Blizzard’s demands.
“Time was limited. We had players whose expectations we wanted to meet, so in the end we made a decision that this was the best thing for the company.”
Bond’s comments were in response to questions from Microsoft attorneys, claiming that Call of Duty was not a must-play game. However, her comments partially contradicted Xbox’s decision to pay Activision Blizzard more money to keep Call of Duty on its platforms, as the FTC later indicated in its inquiries. Bond described the negotiations as “live”, adding that the current agreement prevents Call of Duty from appearing on Xbox Game Pass before January 2025.
Very clear boundaries
In addition to revenue sharing, Bond also talked about Call of Duty’s marketing agreements, which lead to “very clear limits” on what Xbox can say about the series.
“A year ago we wanted to show Call of Duty Vanguard being released on Xbox, we were told we couldn’t say that on YouTube or anywhere else where customers who weren’t our customers could see it, we had to keep it for a while,” Bond said. “.
According to Bond, the Xbox website was doing well, as were the Xbox Twitter accounts.
“But when we shoot a show, people can watch it live on YouTube and other places… and eventually we wanted to put together a list that said, ‘Here are all the games coming next year.’ We can’t say that Call of Duty is coming next year,” Bond said. .
When asked if there were other games with similar marketing exclusives, Bond pointed to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Legacy, which came out earlier this year.
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She also briefly talked about Xbox’s move to sign a similar 10-year deal with Valve, which the platform holder eventually passed because it didn’t want to be seen signing contracts that lock out content for more than 10 years at a time.
Bond’s testimony followed that of Matt Botti, head of Xbox Studios, and head of Bethesda’s global publishing division, who spoke on topics ranging from the possibility of Indiana Jones on PS5 to “Xbox losing the console wars.” It’s all part of a week-long trial that will determine whether a preliminary injunction will be placed on the Activision Blizzard acquisition, which could spoil the whole deal.
We’re in the courtroom covering everything as it happens, so keep an eye on IGN as Xbox’s battle with the FTC continues.
Additional reporting by Rebecca Valentine
Kat Bailey is IGN News Director and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have advice? Send her a direct message at the_katbot.
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