Sony PlayStation chief: Microsoft’s Call of Duty ‘proposals are inadequate on many levels’
Microsoft's journey to acquire Activision is in trouble. One of the main issues it has to address in order to gain approval from different regulators around the world is to ensure that the deal does not harm competition within the gaming market. The tech giant's first step is to promise Sony that it will keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for several years after the Activision deal closes. capture? Microsoft only meant three years, and Sony wasn't happy with that.
PlayStation head Jim Ryan told Games Industry.biz: "I wasn't originally going to comment on what I understood to be private business discussions, but I felt compelled to clarify because Phil Spencer brought it to the public forum." Call of Duty will remain on the PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. After nearly 20 years of Call of Duty on the PlayStation, their proposal falls short on many levels, Nor does it take into account the impact on our gamers. We want to ensure that PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft's proposal undermines that principle."
Microsoft is trying to quell the situation, with its gaming chief Phil Spencer even saying the proposal is "far beyond typical gaming industry protocols." Clearly, offering Sony is a vague promise that it wants to offer its players the famous and beloved first-person shooter video game franchise for decades to come... not just three years.
Once the Activision acquisition is complete, the step doesn't help Microsoft prove it's doing no harm to competitors. This is not only a threat to Sony, but also to the large number of customers who patronize PlayStation games. Once Microsoft's three-year extension ends, those folks will have fewer options for where to play the franchise. And it's getting closer. According to reports, Call of Duty will only be available on PlayStation until 2027 if news of the timeline for Sony's deal with Activision comes out.
Recently, the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK’s antitrust regulator, expressed concern about the deal between Activision and Microsoft. The situation was one of the things it highlighted in its statement, saying it was concerned that Sony could be denied access to new Call of Duty games, which would translate into uneven competition among gaming companies in the market. As these things happen, it will be more challenging for Microsoft to get approval from competition regulators.