Microsoft’s impending acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently being reviewed by relevant authorities worldwide, and in some areas, the $69 deal has attracted scrutiny that’s perhaps greater than usual, owing to the impact it could have on competitors if the massive Call of Duty publisher were to become an Xbox-owned company.
PlayStation, being Xbox’s prime competitor, has openly and repeatedly voiced its concerns, and it seems Sony is continuing down that road. As per a report published by Dealreporter (via VGC), PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan recently “personally travelled” to the European Union headquarters in Brussels to voice concerns over the proposed acquisition. Google has reportedly also voice concerns.
Sony’s primary concern with the acquisition is, of course, the possibility of Call of Duty eventually becoming exclusive to Xbox platforms. Call of Duty games are among the biggest sellers and highest earners on PlayStation consoles year over year, while the series currently also has a marketing deal in place with Sony that entails PlayStation-exclusive content and bonuses for games every year.
In September, Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft had provided a signed agreement to Sony, committing to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several” years beyond Activision’s existing agreement with Sony (which reportedly lasts until 2025). PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan hit out at Xbox’s proposed agreement not long afterward, revealing that it would only run for three years beyond the existing agreement and was deemed “inadequate”.
Recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company remains “very, very confident” the Activision Blizzard acquisition will go through. Read more on that through here.