Is Microsoft’s Call of Duty co-marketing over?

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Every year, when a new Call of Duty is announced, it’s inevitably plastered with Xbox branding, or words reminding you that the game is coming to, or captured on an Xbox. Microsoft and Activision have long been Call of Duty bedfellows – a situation that presents itself by way of timed exclusivity on all DLC. It usually takes a month for any extra content to hit PC and PlayStation platforms after they’ve made their debut on Xbox. It’s why Xbox is the preferred platform for the people who take their Call of Duty seriously. Is that era over?

Rumours have been circulating since last month that the ties that bind Microsoft to Call of Duty have been severed, and that this time around, the co-marketing will be done with Sony instead.

For starters, the Black Ops 3 reveals were very light on the usual, dominant Xbox branding – which is unusual in itself. For Advanced Warfare, our own previews of the game all happened on Xbox One, but it seems that most recent previews for Black Ops 3 took place on PS4 and PC.

If it were purely for showcase purposes – for a better frame rate or resolution – why even bother with the PS4?

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Though his opinion shouldn’t count for much, former Treyarch community manager Josh Olin has said he expects a co-marketing deal with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Sony. And honestly? It makes sense – for Activision at least. Right now, there are about twice as many PlayStation 4s in people’s homes as there Xbox Ones, and it’s a status quo that’s set to continue for a while yet.

That said, I just don’t see Microsoft giving up the goods all that easily. That’s a contract they’d prefer to keep in place, I’d imagine. Microsoft also co-hosts the Call of Duty championships. If this does end up being true though, I’d imagine the thousands of people who’ve bought Xbox Ones just for Call of Duty will be pissed. Is Microsoft’s Call of Duty co-marketing over?

Last Updated: May 4, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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