What you need to know
- Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has spoken out against Microsoft's plan to buy Activision Blizzard.
- Sony has claimed that Microsoft cannot be trusted to keep bringing Call of Duty to PlayStation consoles after the acquisition is completed.
- In a newly-revealed email from Ryan, the PlayStation leader wrote that "It is not an exclusivity play at all" and that he believed that Call of Duty would continue to launch on PlayStation consoles.
Update, June 22, 2023 at 5:10 p.m. CT — A Microsoft spokesperson provided an official comment to Windows Central regarding the results of today's hearing for the FTC against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, specifically referring to Sony PlayStation.
"Today showed Sony has known all along we’ll stand by our promise to keep games on its platform and made clear its work to lobby against the deal is only to protect its dominant position in the market."
The comment follows a day of statements and questioning from both halves the hearing, with the FTC aiming to delay the closure of Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, and Microsoft aiming to open the way for the deal to be closed ahead of the rapidly approaching July 18 deadline. A lot was revealed today, including the FTC arguing that Xbox could gain exclusive content in Activision Blizzard games following the acquisition, despite PlayStation having a long-standing history of doing exactly that.
Our original article continues below.
A newly revealed email puts comments by PlayStation leadership in a different light.
During a Thursday hearing for the Federal Trade Commission v. Microsoft Corp, one email from Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan to a former Sony CEO was revealed, showing how the PlayStation chief felt about Microsoft's planned purchase of Activision Blizzard shortly after the deal was announced.
“It is not an exclusivity play at all,” said Ryan (as shared by The Verge). “They’re thinking bigger than that, and they have the cash to make moves like this. I’ve spent a fair amount of time with [Phil] Spencer [and] Bobby [Kotick], and I’m pretty sure we will continue to see Call of Duty on PlayStation for years to come.”
“We have some good stuff cooking. I’m not complacent, I’d rather this didn’t happen, but we’ll be OK, we’ll be more than OK.”
In September 2022, Ryan referred to the deal offered by Microsoft to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation as 'inadequate,' saying that a three-year contract would not be enough.
Microsoft has signed agreements with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms for ten years after the acquisition is completed and has signed similar agreements to bring Activision Blizzard games to Cloud services like NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Ubitus, and Boosteroid.
The European Commission has approved the deal and a number of other countries, while the FTC in the U.S. has sued to block the purchase. Microsoft is also currently appealing a decision by the CMA in the U.K. to block the acquisition.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.
- Zachary BoddyStaff Writer