Xbox’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard is still being reviewed by regulators, but Sony has been quite vocal about the deal, particularly Xbox’s decision to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation for three more years after the current release. Now, Sony boss Jim Ryan has spoken out about Microsoft’s terms of the deal, calling it “inadequate.”
In a statement released to The Verge, Xbox head Phil Spencer said Microsoft was committed to keeping the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles for “several more years” after Sony’s current marketing deal with Activision expires. Responding to this statement, Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz that the offer “goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements.”
MORE CALL OF DUTY – Xbox Intends to Add Diablo, Overwatch and Call of Duty to Game Pass
Speaking in a bit more detail about Sony’s feelings on the deal, Ryan responded:
“I hadn’t intended to comment on what I understood to be a private business discussion, but I feel the need to set the record straight because Phil Spencer brought this into the public forum. Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”
Sony previously featured exclusive Call of Duty content on PlayStation including betas, early access and console-exclusive rewards. However, if the Activision Blizzard acquisition goes through, the scale will presumably be tipped in Xbox’s favour.
Meanwhile, authorities continue to investigate the massive acquisition, with UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) saying that it might have an impact on Sony’s ability to compete. A large part of that is Call of Duty going to Xbox, which the CMA fears could “significantly impact Sony’s revenues and user base.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 releases on 28 October 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.