Heading into 2023, one of the biggest questions in the video game industry revolves around Microsoft‘s proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard. It remains to be seen whether the purchase will be approved, but former Call of Duty developer Jack Burrows recently provided some insight into the impact it’s already had at Treyarch. Speaking on the Kiwi Talkz podcast, the Black Ops Cold War level designer said that while the team did not let the deal impact day-to-day operations, many employees would “daydream” about Microsoft taking over, imagining how things might change as a result.
“Yeah, we would daydream about how it would affect the day-to-day. We would think about it and we would talk about it being like ‘I wonder if this will change’ or if you know ‘this process won’t be like that anymore,’ or if we’ll get more freedom to do whatever here and there or stuff like that,” said Burrows.
There has been a lot of speculation that Microsoft could bring an end to Call of Duty’s yearly release cycle, allowing more time between game releases. Burrows went on to point out that while it was fun to think about how things might change under Microsoft, he sees things mostly staying the same, should the deal go through, since the Call of Duty franchise “prints money.”
Call of Duty fans won’t know if the deal will go through until March 2023 at the earliest. That’s when regulators in Europe will finish the second phase of their investigation into the proposed purchase. The commission’s key concern is that Microsoft could “foreclose access to Activision Blizzard’s console and PC video games,” with the Call of Duty series specifically mentioned. Microsoft has pledged to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for at least 10 years, and has frequently intimated that the company would lose money by cutting players off from the series. For now, fans (and Activision employees) will have to keep waiting to see what happens!
Do you think the Activision deal will go through? Would the deal be good for the series? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!