Microsoft’s $68 billion Activision Blizzard deal is currently facing increased scrutiny, with the European Union and other regulators across the world launching in-depth investigations of the proposed acquisition. Sony, which dominates the console market with its PlayStation consoles has also argued repeatedly that Microsoft should not have the power to pull a blockbuster franchise like Call of Duty from PlayStation consoles.
It’s certainly in Sony’s best interest to see Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal fall through, especially since the company has hugely benefited from a marketing deal with Activision for Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles. Last week, however, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming once again reiterated that the company has no plans to stop shipping Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles. The exec also said that he was ready to “make a longer term commitment” regarding the future of Call of Duty on PlayStation.
This week, Microsoft told the New York Times that it offered Sony on November 11 a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty games on PlayStation. Sony declined to comment on this offer, and it probably has no reason to while regulators are still investigating Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Phil Spencer previously said that Microsoft writing a contract about Call of Duty on PlayStation that says forever “is a little bit silly.” This certainly didn’t happen when Microsoft purchased Minecraft developer Mojang back in 2014, even though Minecraft went on to become the best-selling video game worldwide.
Speaking with the New York Times, Phil Spencer accused Sony of misleading regulators, adding that the company “overstated the importance of Call of Duty to its viability.” Jim Ryan, head of Sony Interactive Entertainment replied in a statement that it was “not true.” Ryan also described Microsoft as “a tech giant with a long history of dominating industries,” adding that “it is highly likely that the choices gamers have today will disappear if this deal goes ahead.”
We’re likely going to see more public disagreements between Microsoft and Sony regarding this blockbuster acquisition, which has yet to be analyzed by other regulatory bodies around the world. The US Federal State Commission (FTC) is also expected to rule on the proposed acquisition very soon.