Sony’s Jim Ryan Doesn’t Want New Call of Duty Deal, Only to Block Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Activision Blizzard EVP/CCO Lulu Cheng Meservey reveals the SIE President and CEO said this on February 21st in Brussels.

Posted By | On 09th, Mar. 2023

Xbox Activision Blizzard

The saga of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues, with the former recently announcing it would allow Sony to put Call of Duty titles on PlayStation Plus when they launch. Despite being offered a new ten-year deal to keep the series on PlayStation, Sony has been vehemently opposed. It’s expressed concern over the merger, believing the shooter’s popularity to be unrivaled and influencing console choice.

However, a new wrinkle has emerged. Replying to The Verge’s analysis of documents submitted to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, Lulu Cheng Meservey, EVP of corporate affairs and CCO at Activision Blizzard, says Microsoft is offering Sony a ten-year agreement “on far better terms” than what the publisher offered. This is in addition to “guaranteed long-term access to Call of Duty,” but Sony keeps refusing. Why?

According to Meservey, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s CEO Jim Ryan answered this on February 21st in Brussels (the same day Microsoft defended its acquisition to the EU). He said, “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger.”

Sony’s current deal with Activision for Call of Duty expires in 2024. The European Commission has pushed back its decision on the acquisition to late April, but it’s reportedly close to being approved, that too without Microsoft having to sell any Activision-Blizzard assets. Whether the CMA and Federal Trade Commission in the United States follows remains to be seen. Stay tuned for more updates in the meantime.


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