Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has accused Sony of “trying to sabotage” the Microsoft acquisition, claiming that PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has stopped communicating with both parties. While the deal has yet to go through, it has been met with heavy opposition from Sony, particularly around the potential exclusivity of the Call of Duty franchise.
In a recent interview with Financial Times, Kotick claimed that Sony executives including Ryan had stopped taking calls from Activision and Microsoft. “Suddenly, Sony’s entire leadership team stopped talking to anyone at Microsoft,” said Kotick. “I think this is all Sony just trying to sabotage the transaction.”
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“The whole idea that we are not going to support a PlayStation or that Microsoft would not support the PlayStation, it is absurd,” added Kotick, addressing the offers Microsoft made to Sony to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles for another decade.
However, Sony responded to Kotick’s claims saying that it is very much in contact with Microsoft but has no comment about its private negotiations.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently stated that Microsoft’s almost $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard might reduce industry competition and “result in higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation for UK gamers.”
There are definitely some valid concerns being raised, especially when considering how this might monopolise the gaming market in Microsoft’s favour. Activision is one of the industry’s largest publishers with several studios and IPs under its banner, though we have yet to see how this will all play out if the deal goes through. Kotick is confident that the deal will close by July 2023, but further pushback from US, UK and EU regulators and authorities might delay it even further.
Microsoft officially announced that it had plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion back in January 2022. It has been an uphill battle for all parties involved since then.
Source: Financial Times