Sony boss says Microsoft’s COD deal ‘inadequate on many levels’
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has called out Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer over an “inadequate” COD deal.
The current deal between the console giant and COD publisher Activision Blizzard, in the process of being purchased by Microsoft, covers the three upcoming releases of the COD series, including this year’s COD: Modern Warfare 2. The deal has been running for almost 20 years.
After Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard, rumors of plans to make the series Xbox and PC exclusive emerged. The PlayStation executive later called out Microsoft for failing “to take account of the impact on our gamers.”
Sony, Microsoft talks of COD deal
Microsoft announced the plan to acquire Activision Blizzard in January. However, it was opposed by regulators, especially in the United Kingdom (The Competition and Markets Authority), over the fear that the $69 billion acquisition deal may result in a “substantial lessening of competition.” There are also concerns that the deal would result in the publisher’s beloved titles being made Xbox and PC exclusives.
“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,” Ryan said.
“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.”
However, earlier in January, Spencer said the company wanted to honor its agreement with the publisher by making games from Activision Blizzard remain multiplatform.
“I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship,” Spencer said.
In a statement released last week, Spencer said Xbox’s offer to PlayStation in regards to COD already “goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements.”
“In January, we provided a signed agreement to Sony to guarantee Call of Duty on PlayStation,” he said.
“With feature and content parity, for at least several more years beyond the current Sony contract, an offer that goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements.”
Ryan said he wanted to ensure a quality COD playing experience on PlayStations, which is something that Microsoft had undermined.
“We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle,” he added.
Rivalries between consoles are a mainstream discourse within the gaming community, with competitions usually leading to console-exclusive titles.
There have been concerns that all Activision Blizzard games would become exclusive to Xbox and PC. Recently, it was announced that several titles from Bethesda, whose parent company Zenimax was acquired by Microsoft, would be exclusive to Xbox and PC. These include Redfall, Starfield, and The Elder Scrolls 6.
Regardless, the tech giant honored the agreement with Zenimax in regard to some titles. Deathloop was released exclusively for PlayStation, while Ghostwire Tokyo was made multiplatform.