How EA can benefit from Xbox exclusivity of Call of Duty

Electronic Arts believes that the Call of Duty franchise eventually becoming an Xbox exclusive might help Battlefield, its other flagship franchise. EA CEO Andrew Wilson, in a statement provided to Axios’s Stephen Totilo (spotted by IGN), mentioned that the popular first-person shooter franchise Call of Duty’s uncertainty of being available on different platforms can be “a tremendous opportunity” for the publisher to promote Battlefield. At a conference held last week, Wilson added Battlefield is “platform-agnostic” as the game is supported across multiple platforms. With Call of Duty becoming an Xbox-exclusive title in the upcoming days, Battlefield can be a perfect alternative for players who use other platforms.

Multi-platform availability has helped EA’s Battlefield
EA’s Battlefield is the second biggest first-person shooter franchise after Call of Duty and has a huge player base. It is available across multiple platforms including — PC, PlayStation and Xbox. If Battlefield would’ve been restricted to a single platform or ecosystem, it could have negatively affected the player base that can currently access the game.

Call of Duty being an Xbox-exclusive can help EA
Call of Duty being an Xbox exclusive can also help EA with potential marketing deals. Earlier, in the Xbox 360 era, Microsoft dominated the Call of Duty marketing deals and exclusive timed content. Later on, the situation changed as the franchise started working closely with Sony on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
For example, Call of Duty Modern Warfare II which came out this year even includes several exclusive bonuses for PlayStation owners. PS owners were offered first access to the game’s beta version and an operator was also named Hiro “Oni” Watanabe.
If Call of Duty eventually becomes exclusive to Microsoft platforms, Sony will be forced to approach the second largest first-person shooter franchise — Battlefield. This will give EA a massive advantage to strike up marketing deals with Sony. Although it is important to note that previously even Microsoft had marketing deals with the Battlefield franchise, including Battlefield V.

Microsoft is still struggling to get its Activision Blizzard acquisition deal approved by some regulators. Currently, a UK regulator is hindering the deal from going through due to some anti-competition concerns that may arise from making franchises like Call of Duty exclusive. Sony is also aware of this deal’s significance and has called Microsoft’s offer to extend Call of Duty’s availability on PlayStation by three years “inadequate.”

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