Since announcing that it was in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft’s position on what that will mean for Call of Duty games releasing on PlayStation consoles has been an interesting one. The company has previously said that not only does it intend to honour all existing agreements Activision Blizzard has in place, but also wants to keep releasing multiplatform titles beyond those obligations.
Recently, however, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to extend its inquiry into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying that the deal could potentially “result in Microsoft harming consumers by impairing Sony’s ability to compete.” Shortly afterward, Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft had provided a signed agreement to Sony to release future Call of Duty games on PlayStation.
Now, unexpectedly, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has responded to Microsoft’s aforementioned signed agreement in a very public manner, saying that the offer made by the company is “inadequate on many levels.” In a statement provided to GamesIndustry, Ryan has said that Microsoft’s offer to release future Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles only covers three years after Sony’s existing agreement with Activision ends (as per previous reports, said existing agreement lasts until 2024/25).
“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. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”
How this affects the ongoing process of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s certainly unusual to see PlayStation (or any company, for that matter) making a public response to ongoing negotiations in this manner. This story should be worth keeping an eye on, so stay tuned for more updates.