Activision Blizzard has stopped releasing new Call of Duty games on Steam since 2018, preferring to make the PC version of Black Ops 4 exclusive to Battle.net. However, with the release of the new Modern Warfare 2 last fall, the series returned to the Valve store. According to Microsoft lawyers, this experiment is over “a resounding failure”.
In documents released as part of a legal battle between the US Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft, the platform owner’s legal team reportedthat the Battle.net exclusivity of Call of Duty was terminated because Activision Blizzard felt the performance was not good enough.
Creating PC versions of the new Call of Duty exclusives for Battle.net Activision Blizzard’s leadership fueled a desire to attract an audience to its platform, but the idea changed “a resounding failure”: Battle.net MAUs from 2018 to 2022 remained “relatively stable”.
At the same time, according to Microsoft, the monthly audience of the already successful Steam platform has almost doubled: from 67 million users in 2017 to 132 million by the end of 2021. At the same time, in the specified period, the players of the Valve service did not have access to the new Call of Duty.
As PC Gamer pointed out, pointing out the ineffectiveness of Call of Duty’s single-platform exclusivity strategy is a pretty smart move by Microsoft. Now Microsoft is trying to convince regulators and judges around the world that it won’t make Call of Duty exclusive after buying Activision Blizzard.