In the gaming industry, one's friends today may no longer be around tomorrow. Consider Microsoft and Activision. Once, they were partners. Now, Activision has run off to team up with Sony.
At Microsoft's press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles on Monday, the Xbox creator made no mention of Activision's Call of Duty, one of the most bankable franchises in gaming history. That's because Activision was rubbing elbows with the folks over at Sony's booth.
Microsoft used to have a partnership with Activision to deliver exclusive content and modes for Call of Duty, beginning with the multiplayer beta made exclusively for "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" in 2007. This was followed by the downloadable content (DLC) Resurgence Package for "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 2" in 2010.
That long-running partnership is now severed, as Activision has decided to release its exclusive content via Sony's own gaming system. Sony PlayStation CEO Andrew House himself made the announcement at E3 during Sony's press briefing. House says from now on, Call of Duty gamers who want access to the exclusive map packs will have to play on a PlayStation. Gamers who have an Xbox or who play on PC will have to wait far longer, or maybe even forever, to get access to additional map packs for Call of Duty.
"PlayStation is the new home of Call of Duty," House proudly announced at E3.
The exclusivity deal will begin with "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3," which has yet to be released on Nov. 6 for both the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. A version is also being developed for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
For people who followed the Microsoft-Activision partnership closely, the news that Call of Duty exclusive DLC is now moving to Sony is not surprising. Weeks before the E3 announcement, VG24/7 noticed on Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace that Call of Duty is not marked with the usual green box that says "Content First," which signifies that Xbox gamers receive timed exclusives for the game before the content is made available to other platforms.
Matt Martin of VG24/7, in fact, reported in April that when he visited Call of Duty developer Treyarch for a preview of "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3," he was given the PlayStation 4 version.