PlayStation 4 has had some form of timed-exclusive content for the Call of Duty franchise since 2015’s Black Ops III. This partnership previously had downloadable content hitting PS4 a month earlier than Xbox One or PC. For Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, however, the deal applies to the game’s Survival Mode. And the PS4 exclusivity runs through October 1, 2020.
Survival Mode works a lot like the Gears of War franchise’s Horde. Players team up to take on waves of enemies over a series of rounds. It is one of the options in Modern Warfare’s Spec Ops mode. As in previous Modern Warfare games, Spec Ops is series of cooperative missions that stand alongside the competitive multiplayer and single-player campaign.
But Xbox and PC fans won’t get that mode until 2020’s inevitable Call of Duty is about to release.
Activision and Sony have had Survival Mode-like deals in other games
This is a big change for how exclusivity in Call of Duty works. It is, however, a familiar style of agreement for both Activision and Sony Interactive Entertainment. Those companies previously worked together on timed exclusive content in the Destiny games. In the first shooter in that Bungie series, for example, Xbox fans missed out on certain missions for up to a year.
Still, the idea that this has happened before in other games means little to Call of Duty players on non-Sony platforms. But Activision probably isn’t worried about this deal hurting sales on Xbox One or PC. After all, Call of Duty has continued to sell extremely well on Microsoft’s console even after Sony picked up the timed-exclusive deal several years ago.
But if a year-long exclusive on a specific mode is too far, then you still have time to cancel your preorder. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is due out October 25 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
LIVE NOW: GamesBeat's Driving Game Growth Summit