On the first day of vigorous testimony in Xbox’s Activision Blizzard trial, Xbox Vice President Sara Bond announced that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick would like to increase revenue sharing to bring Call of Duty to Microsoft’s platform. and made bombshell remarks.
According to Bond, Kotik has made it clear that he will not bring Call of Duty to Xbox unless it exceeds the standard revenue share.
Ultimately, Xbox decided to comply with Activision Blizzard’s demands, Bond said.
“Time was limited. We had players who wanted to live up to expectations, so in the end we made the decision that it was best for the business.”
Bond’s comments were in response to questions from Microsoft’s lawyers, who argued that Call of Duty is not a required game. But, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pointed out in a later cross-examination, her comments were part of Xbox’s decision to pay her Activision Blizzard an extra sum to keep Call of Duty on the platform. was partially contradicted by lowering the Bond characterized negotiations as “lively,” adding that the current deal won’t allow Call of Duty to be brought to Xbox Game Pass by January 2025.
‘Very clear limits’
In addition to revenue sharing, Bond also talked about a marketing deal for Call of Duty, which resulted in “very clear limits” to what Xbox could say about the series.
“A year ago, we wanted to show that Call of Duty Vanguard was coming to Xbox, but we can’t announce it on YouTube or anywhere else that customers other than our own customers can see it. I had to put it on hold for a while, for a period of time,” said Bond.
According to Bond, Xbox’s website was fine, as was Xbox’s own Twitter account.
“But when we shoot the showcase, people can watch it live on YouTube and elsewhere … and finally put up a slate that says, ‘This is all the games coming out next year. I wanted to. We were told that we can’t say that Call of Duty is coming next year,” Bond said.
When asked if there were other games with similar marketing exclusivity, Bond pointed to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Legacy, which was released earlier this year.
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