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Microsoft Says Activision’s Exclusion of Call of Duty From Steam Was a ‘Resounding Failure’

Microsoft has termed Activision Blizzard’s removal of Call of Duty from Steam a “resounding failure”. This information comes from the company’s post-trial conclusions after winning the case against Federal Trade Commission. Apparently, Xbox’s parent company believes that Activision Blizzard’s efforts to increase Battle.net users did not work out well, and they have a good reason for believing so.

Call of Duty on Steam

The company highlighted how Activision Blizzard decided in 2018 to stop releasing Call of Duty games on Valve’s PC games platform Steam. Blizzard released Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 exclusively on its own Battle.net service. Activision then went five years without ever releasing a single Call of Duty game on Steam until 2022 when they released Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 on Steam.

Microsoft highlighted the “failure” of Activision Blizzard by stating some key facts from that five-year time period. The company mentioned how Battle.net monthly active users “remained relatively flat” at a time when Battle.net was the only way for PC players to get Call of Duty. Microsoft also added that while the growth of Activision’s service was stagnant, Steam almost doubled its monthly users “by tens of millions of users” as Steam went from 67 million monthly active users to 132 million in 2021. The idea here by Microsoft was to highlight how platform exclusivity, even for a title such as Call of Duty, does not guarantee success.

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