Wednesday, March 29, 2023

PlayStation makes it clear to Microsoft: it does not want an agreement for ‘Call of Duty’, just block the purchase of Activision

The tension between Sony and Microsoft for the purchase of Activision does not stop growing. Today, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has exposed part of the conversations that both companies held recently. The event has caused Lulu Cheng MaserveyActivision’s director of communications, revealed a forceful phrase from jim ryandirector of Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation).

According to the directive, the head of PlayStation said that his company does not intend to close a satisfactory agreement in relation to call of dutybut simply prevent Microsoft from closing the purchase of Activision.

“I do not want a new agreement for call of duty. I just want to block their fusion.”

It should be noted that Cheng is, at the moment, the only source that has shared this information. The CMA does not include it in public documents.

The aggressive statement would have occurred after Sony exposed its fear because they believe that Microsoft could sabotage the operation of call of duty on PlayStation consoles.

“Microsoft could release a call of duty for PlayStation in which bugs and errors arise, either in the final version of the game or in subsequent updates. Even if such downgrades could be detected in time, any fix would likely come too late, by which time the gaming community would have lost trust in PlayStation as a place to play. call of duty.”


At PlayStation they consider that this type of situation would put the brand at risk, since if they verify —in a hypothetical case— that a call of duty offers better performance in competition, your players could switch to the Xbox platform:

“As witnessed Modern Warfare 2the highest sales volume of a call of duty it happens in the first weeks of its release. If it was known that game performance on PlayStation was worse than on Xbox, gamers on call of duty they might decide to switch to Xbox for fear of playing their favorite title in a second-rate or less competitive venue.”


But beyond the bugs, PlayStation also believes that Microsoft could affect the exclusive features of call of duty on their consoles. For example, the integration with the PS5 controller, the DualSense.

Microsoft negotiates only when it suits it, according to PlayStation

Phil Spencer, Xbox game Pass, PlayStation
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. Casey Rodgers | AP Images

One of the statements made by the CMA that attracts the most attention is that, according to PlayStation, Microsoft showed a willingness to negotiate only when the purchase of Activision became complicated. Even more interesting, they affirm that those of Redmond first came to spread their intentions to the media before discussing it with the companies involved.

“Microsoft has not shown any real commitment to reach an agreement. They procrastinated, engaged only when they felt the regulatory landscape was darkening, and favored dealing in the media over engaging with Sony Interactive Entertainment.”


In this sense, it is true that Sony has followed a communication strategy that is very different from that of Microsoft. The latter, in the vast majority of cases, has gone to multiple media to talk about the subject. The Japanese, for their part, have tried to deal with it internally and with the authorities.

In September 2022, when Microsoft revealed to various media outlets that it had offered PlayStation the permanence of call of duty for “several years,” Jim Ryan replied: “I did not intend 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 up in the public forum. Microsoft has only offered that call of duty remain at PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends.”

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