• Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

Sony Won't Let Microsoft's $69 Billion Activision Acquisition Go, Stresses It's Bad for Gaming – Push Square

ByWikafever

Sep 15, 2022

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Deal to be further investigated
Update: Microsoft has responded to Sony’s comments about the acquisition with yet another statement to GamesIndustry. A spokesperson said: “It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft would keep the FPS series on PlayStation forever, but it has made similar comments several times before. Hopefully the two companies can reach some sort of arrangement that satisfies both sides, but this isn’t over yet.
Original Story: Microsoft’s enormous buyout of Activision Blizzard has been the big industry story for a while now, and as all the legalese is happening following the shock of the news itself, the scale of the bid is making real waves. As the UK and EU prepare to further investigate the implications of such a massive acquisition, Sony’s taken the opportunity to have another pop at the Redmond corporation.
Recently, the UK regulator stated its concerns about fair competition if the deal were to go through, which prompted Xbox’s Phil Spencer to reiterate Call of Duty will remain multiplatform for the foreseeable future. Sony took issue with that, saying the agreement about this was inadequate. As reported by GamesIndustry, regulators in the UK and EU will now further scrutinise the Microsoft’s plans, as the firm never responded to its initial concerns.
Sony, meanwhile, has issued GamesIndustry with a fresh statement on the matter. The company “welcomes the announcement” of the investigation, saying that giving Microsoft control of Activision and its games “would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry”. The statement continues: “We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.”
In other words, Sony’s delighted the deal is caught up in so much red tape, and this public statement makes its stance perfectly clear. Of course, franchises like Call of Duty are huge for PlayStation, so the platform holder would never want to lose access to that, so the longer this merger is held up, the better.
What do you make of all this? Tell us in the comments section below.
[source gamesindustry.biz]
About Stephen Tailby
Stephen Tailby
Having grown up alongside PlayStation, Stephen has developed an eclectic taste in video games and a wide knowledge of the medium, from small indie gems to the biggest AAA blockbusters. Ever hopeful that the Burnout series makes a miraculous return.
Comments (128)
get2sammyb
I’m actually a little shocked they’ve put this statement out, although I assume they’ve been advised to.
Obviously they’re only looking to protect their market share and not necessarily “gamers”, but this kind of acquisition is ultimately unprecedented.
It’s bizarre to me how so many try to compare what’s happening here with the odd timed exclusive Final Fantasy or purchasing a single developer like Insomniac.
EDIT: Also, in before the easy takes about the PS5 price increase and Jim Ryan.
Enriesto
As if Sony doesn’t have enough bad PR? They just keep digging… and use the consumer’s well-being as a scapegoat for their frustration with Microsoft’s deal. Let it go… any more digs like this will hurt Sony regardless of the deal going through or not.
Cikajovazmaj
My main concern is that the end outcome of this situation is going to be Activision Blizzard ceasing to exist. Be that by MS ruining it, or taking a hit after deal fails to close. Either way, not good.
IonMagi
@Enriesto They know that of they loose CoD its over for then lol, so they are pretty much "Fighting for their Life"
get2sammyb
@Enriesto True, but the alternative is sitting back and waving goodbye to their biggest money-maker by a mile.
You’ve got to imagine they’re acting in accordance with professional advice, and not worrying quite so much about what the commenters on Push Square think about their PR strategy.
mrtennis1990
Keep fighting the good fight Jim. Microsoft is inching closer to a Monopoly and will be happy to hurt the industry even more with its anti-competitive behavior since they have zero ability to create quality games.
Kalvort
I honestly believe if Sony had the money, they would be the ones to buy Activision Blizzard…
Yes I agree it’s not at the same level of a timed exclusive / exclusive perks / paying to keep a specific franchise off the other platform, like Sony has constantly done recently, but the head (or heads) of Sony really deserve this for pretending to be the ”good guys” over the past few years.
They have never been ‘pro gaming’ just ‘pro Playstation’. Business is business at the end of the day.
Shepard93n7
I’m shocked reading some "Xbox fans" saying Sony is being hypocrite just because they had exclusive deals in the past, like if this buyout is remotely the same thing. Most of the former PS exclusive games from third party devs are bein released or will be on Xbox. Meanwhile everyone doubts the same thing will happen with Acti-Bliz games after the buyout.
Regardless I believe Sony should focus on their own stuff and assume these games are lost. The attitude they’re having towards this deal is pathetic.
StrickenBiged
Sony looks a little desperate, but as has been pointed out, the scale is completely different. A Sony first party exclusive like TLoU Part 2 only recently topped 10 million copies sold. Each CoD release can now be expected to sell at least double that, and there is an entire ecosystem of developers working together under Activision to make that an annual endeavour.
Ultrasmiles
Sounds like console wars are getting serious again
DefiledViper
For once Jim is right. It’s bad for gaming and even worse for the industry. He’s actually doing what he should – fighting for his PlayStation customers. It’s about time someone stood up to Lord Spencer.
TheArt
I mean it’s extremely silly to just go buy a multiplat publisher and make their games exclusive for your console. There’s a difference between funding your own studios/funding a spinoff from a multiplat studio and keeping things exclusive and this. What’s next? Elon or Bezos buying Take-Two or EA and making their games exclusive. But hey who knows if Sony would’ve done same if they had that money to throw around.
Kalvort
But Spencer is also fighting for his customers right, or is it a one way street? @DefiledViper
MasterEMFG
One of the reasons I switched to PS was because of the exclusives and I already own a PC. So an Xbox didn’t make any sense anymore. I’ve been rooting for Microsoft to nab some exclusive options and now when they do they get a bunch of flak.
I think they deserve to tip the scales a bit. Granted these bigwigs like Sony and MS own too much already like most big tech, but in all fairness MS has needed some of this.
Admittedly I don’t know enough of the details about this particular deal however.
SinfulDestroyer
Meanwhile its also Bad for gaming to have exclusive DLC for one year as in Hogwarts Legacy or buying up insomniac after they been muliplat.
MS7000
Oh no.
Big company vs Big company. Who will win?!
Anyway…
LordAinsley
I think the scrutiny holds up a lot more after the successful Bethesda/Zenimax acquisition.
Maybe even waiting a few years for the dust to settle would’ve dodged this attention too, although I understand they swooped when Activison were backed into a corner due to the issues with their CEO
thefourfoldroot1
Anything that stops one service gaining a near monopoly, in this case Gamepass, given competing platforms obviously can’t allow Gamepass on their platforms, is best for gamers on all platforms. It’s that simple.
SettleDownBeavis
Uncle Jim is fighting for his company’s bottom line. If PlayStation customers/gamers in general enter into his thinking at all, they’re very much a secondary concern.
Is the mooted ActiBlizz acquisition on a par with “the odd timed exclusive Final Fantasy or purchasing a single developer like Insomniac”? No, but those “odd” deals soon add up, and Sony has done enough of them over recent times to ensure that they have no claim whatsoever to the moral high ground.
Deoxyr1bose
This has to be the most annoying thing in gaming for a while for me. A company that I don’t like at all gets bought for billions, multi platform games are about to become exclusive, the rightfully earned Activision controversy gets swept under the rug and is the only reason this deal was able to happen, Sony keeps on gassing up Call of Duty like it’s the savior of the industry, and fanboys are now calling for more publishers to be bought.
Hate it here
DefiledViper
@Kalvort Let me know when Sony buys two of the largest “PUBLISHERS” in gaming, then we’ll talk. And save the lame “if Sony had the money they would too” excuse because there’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that and is pure heresay.
IAmAshCohen17
It’s hilarious to see, even if it does fall short at the end.
Thing is even if it is blocked by one of the regulators, I suspect it would still go Microsoft’s way in court
Shepherd_Tallon
I’ll be very surprised if this deal doesn’t happen.
I think Ryan and PlayStation know it too, and are now trying to drag it out for as long as possible or get some concessions that MS may feel that they have to offer in order to make the deal go through.
Ultimately though, will MS be allowed to buy another publisher after this?
IAmAshCohen17
Interesting to read that Microsoft wouldn’t offer concessions for it to pass at Phase 1, makes me think that eventually the idea would be for most content to go exclusive
Richnj
For everyone confused on how this is being compared to FF and timed exclusives.
You can’t pay to keep big games and content as timed exclusives, then claim that you have the “gamers” interest at heart, and that that is why you object to this deal.
It’s kinda like buying lots of cookies for the house, but when anyone in the family tries to get one, you eat it instead and claim that you are just trying to help them from getting fat. Like, why would you keep buying them if you didn’t want us to have them?
The mismatch in actions and words gives away your motives. It’s true that eating all those cookies would be bad, but that’s not why you keep stopping us from eating them. Just admit you bought the cookies for yourself and you are selfish.
Decoy_Snake
Sony always looked bad continuing to challenge this but now they look desperate.
AdamCorela
@get2sammyb Comparing the two companies’ acquisitions is absolutely comparing apples to oranges, but it is also 100% hypocrisy on Sony’s part. They buy up third party exclusives and devs to make that content locked to their platform to attract more customers. Microsoft is doing the same, only on a larger scale. Microsoft brought a tank to a knife fight and Sony isn’t happy about it.
UltimateOtaku91
Whilst I must admit sony are throwing a tantrum here, I must also say that if Microsoft mean what they say then why didn’t they offer sony a longer deal than just 3 years? Did they add any clauses in their proposed contract that sony aren’t happy about, have sony found any loop holes that would mean xbox can back track on their deal once the takeover is complete? Or are sony throwing this out of proportion?
If I was sony I’d sit down with Microsoft and negotiate a better deal, maybe a rolling contract that means they have the same parity if playstation hit certain sales figures etc
UltimateOtaku91
@Richnj But sonys acquisitions don’t make 15+ million yearly players miss out.
That’s what’s at stake with the call of duty buy out, that’s why no fuss was made when Microsoft bought studios like obsidian and double fine.
The fact that’s its the 2nd highest played multiplayer game on consoles full stop is also an issue, if call of duty was just a single player game then there would be zero fuss.
AdamNovice
@SinfulDestroyer Insomniac only made a couple of multiplatform games in there history. They were pretty much a PlayStation studio in all but name, Sony just made sure no one else got them.
somnambulance
I honestly agree with Sony on this one. Xbox and Microsoft are buying businesses for a competitive edge rather than doing the creative aspect themselves. If Xbox has proven anything so far this generation, it’s that they are buying their exclusives rather than fostering them.
Smiffy01
@Shepard93n7 Totally bud, where’s the old 90s spirit of Playstation, trying new things, carving out new ip’s and being "cool". They nowadays sound like bitter boomers.
Fiendish-Beaver
Oh, please, @mrtennis1990 behave! If this deal goes through, Microsoft moves from fourth in the overall biggest gaming companies, to…. yes, that’s right, third! Sony are the biggest gaming company by some stretch, so if you are going to throw words like ‘monopoly’ around, be sure to mention it every time that Sony buys a company.
I’m not commenting one way or the other with regards to whether this purchase is a good thing, but Microsoft buying ABK is far from a monopoly…
thefourfoldroot1
@AdamCorela
“ Microsoft brought a tank to a knife fight and Sony isn’t happy about it.”
It’s not just Sony, it’s the regulators. Sony obviously will help the decision go in their favour if possible.
But the whole “bring a tank to a knife fight” is true. The question is, do we want to just let the tank destroy everything and take ownership of the battlefield.
Would it be good for the consumers for any platform to take control of the industry through buying exclusivity for the biggest games, in this case Gamepass (forget Xbox, that’s irrelevant)? The answer is obviously no, so let’s hope some regulators put the brakes on.
In the meantime, everyone try to ignore the sad fanboys with their pointless “whataboutisms”. The perspective of every consumer should be as above, irrespective of which platform holder is seeking monopoly of the current subscription landscape.
naruball
"It makes zero sense, but we’ll do it anyway" is what they mean. Beyond obvious.
render
People seem to forget that PC gaming is 99% MS Windows so between that and Xbox they would have a good proportion of the market sewn up. I know stuff like Steam exists on the PC side but more and more money is starting to move towards MS with GP on there as well, plus they control the OS and SDK etc.
If Sony do lose out because of the Acti-Blitz deal going through and eventually cease to provide hardware / a streaming service then gamers like ourselves, looking for the big AAA releases, are going to have no choice but to go Xbox / PC or streaming service – with the majority running on Windows. I know Nintendo is there in the background but they don’t produce systems capable of running these types of games and they don’t really cater for my tastes in the most part.
BusyOlf
This is what Microsoft does, they buy out competition and other rival companies retaliate with protest and forward on their concerns to anti-regulation panels. They get push back and they sometimes get told whichever deal can’t proceed.
What is happening here is no different to every other incident where Microsoft have purchased a company. To make it out that Sony is being negative in resisting this just shows you’re naive.
DETfaninATL
Sooooooo……. This acquisition is ‘bad for gaming’ but all the other ones lately aren’t??? Come on. I’m a big Sony fan, but admit it Sony, you got beat on this one and you don’t like it. That’s business – you win some, you lose some. …………. kind of like gaming itself. 😉
AdamNovice
It honestly baffles me how people think Sony shouldn’t be fighting this and calling them “hypocritical”. How people can just sit back and think MS spending billions to horde IPs and studios to their own platforms is a good thing. Hopefully regulators do the right thing and block the deal or at least put terms so that franchises like CoD remain multiplatform indefinitely.
Sam_ATLUS
@SinfulDestroyer Exclusive DLC is ridiculous admittedly and shouldn’t be a thing, that should be accessible to all players and is a weird strategy with some companies to get you to purhcase the game on their system. But Insominac didn’t make that many multi platform games, only two that come to mind is Fuse with EA which wasn’t well received and Sunset Overdrive which while praised, didn’t do as well as it could because it released on the Xbox One. Isomniac only had a brief experiment with multi plat games compared to other developers, they mostly developed games only for PlayStation for 20+ years and not only did it already feel like they were a Sony owned studio but their games thrived on PlayStation. So them being bought by Sony was more a "how did it take this long?" reaction with their close partnership.
HOWARDSROCK
So much whining on both sides but I have to go with Xbox here and I love PlayStation. This is just new console war. If Sony doesn’t like it stop wasting your time complaining, dig in, and go create a new FPS IP that people can’t live without.
Fiendish-Beaver
You are absolutely correct, @Kalvort. This is not simply a case of Microsoft attempting to gain ground on Sony, it is also effectively a retaliation for years of Sony paying to have the best edition of CoD, or paying to prevent games such as FF7 never appear on the Xbox, or (allegedly, and I’m sure there is some substance to it) paying to prevent games from going on the Game Pass, or paying for better versions of games to be on the PlayStation such as the upcoming Harry Potter game, or blocking characters like Spiderman from appearing on the Xbox. It is not one thing that has pushed Microsoft into making this acquisition, it is multiple things over a number of years. Sony now playing the victim, when it has been the predator for so long, is a cynical move in the extreme, and is frankly embarrassing. Sony look desperate, which is just sad.
What’s possibly worse, is that should this deal fall through, then ABK would likely splinter into many smaller companies, if not outright disappear, and the chances of there being sufficient financial clout to keep making the likes of CoD is debatable. I get that on this side we like to see the Green Team as the bad guys, but sometimes there does also need to be a little perspective. If it’s a question of no CoD, or the game being owned by Microsoft and still be released day and date on the PlayStation, then I’m personally all for this acquisition…
WavesOfActivity
I think Colin has it nailed on LSM. They don’t want to remove it, but they do want to force Sony to implement Game Pass and get more subscriptions on PS.
TommyNL
A spokesperson said: "It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position."
Finally someone with sense and an eye for the future at Microsoft.
Sam_ATLUS
Losing COD is a massive blow to Sony, think of all the money they get from that. Most gamers might think it’s trash but to them it is a money maker, of course they will fight tooth and neck to keep them coming to their console. If I was Sony though at this point in the background I’d be working on trying to fund games similar to things like COD that would work as a replacement with the mindset "We are losing COD we need to provide our own FPS to take it’s place". Yeah it most likely won’t make as much money for them but it provides an alternative to something they could be losing.
Sakai
The whole conversation is pretty boring now. Reading the gamesindustry article it all sounds like it’s still going to go through anyway and this was all expected. Interesting that acti and Microsoft have been in talks with the EU since January, I didn’t know that. With all this bad blood from Sony, are Sony less likely to get a better deal now? Seems a bad negotiating tactic to me, but what do I know
TheCollector316
It is unfortunate Phil Spencer says he is worried about the damage big tech would do to the gaming industry while working for a big tech company buying up publishers and giving away their content for pennies on the dollar. He clearly has no self awareness.
Robocod
"Gamer" Phil Spencer’s "gaming for all" nice guy persona is well & truly exposed for the snake oil it is by his continual actions making previously 3rd party publishers & IP’s Gamepass/XB/PC exclusive.
For all his rhetoric last gen when COD & GTA DLC went from being a Xbox 360 timed dlc exclusives to Playstation it was suddenly "anti-gamer"…& yet his "solution" has has been to use the corporate credit card & buy up entire 3rd party publishers to kill off competition permanently. (Eg: Starfield).
I’ve lost count the number of times I’d seen "but Deathloop!",(now coming to XB with the timed period ending),or "But FF7 remastered!". Again conveniently ignoring how Xbox has just about cornered the mainstream the western rpg AAA developers & saw again 3rd party originated projects like Starfield killed off on ps5. Not forgetting the rpg exclusives they bought up during the 360 era before that which was okay when they did it apparently.
3rd party Ttmed exclusives are annoying if you don’t own the relevant format…even something as "small" as Return to Monkey Island being Switch console exclusive,(& avoiding spoilers meantime)! But I find it strange how only one company gets singled out as "evil" employing it whilst Nintendo get cheered for it,& Xbox can do no wrong seemingly killing off competition.
The current "arms race" buying up publishers & tying up previous 3rd party IP’s isn’t going to end well for gamers.
Fiendish-Beaver
Whilst I absolutely understand what you are saying, @UltimateOtaku91, that’s very likely what will happen. Microsoft will negotiate 3 to 5 year terms every time the previous term is coming to an end. Why do you think that Sony have not got a lifetime of marketing rights, and PlayStation specific CoD benefits right now? Why is there only 2 years of their agreement left? It’s because all these contracts have a time limiting constraint. Something I honestly cannot see that changing when/if the deal goes through. You cannot expect Microsoft to agree to releasing CoD on the PlayStation every year if it moves (as mooted) from a yearly to releasing every two years, or the games sales falter so badly that it’s not worth making anymore, or if Sony make a console with architecture so different that Microsoft would effectively be making the same game twice in order to get it on both consoles. Or if a thousand other things. The point being that Xbox are currently offering a 5 year deal, it matters not that they are honouring an existing agreement, they are still offering a 5 year deal. In 5 years we will be coming towards the end of this console generation, and who knows what the landscape will be then. Microsoft cannot be expected to offer an open ended agreement when so much can change in the meantime…
Tasuki
Removed – inappropriate
CielloArc
There’s an old IT saying that goes like "If its bad for Microsoft then its good for the industry as a whole".
CrispyMango92
@get2sammyb What’s more bizarre to me is the PS fans who say they don’t care about Sony losing access to CoD because they don’t care about it. It’s like they don’t realize that all that money that Sony rakes in from CoD (and other Acti games) goes back into funding their favorite platform. So essentially they don’t care if the quality of PS games drop because without that CoD money, there’s gonna be a huge hole in Sonys wallet.
carlos82
This the same Sony showcasing third party "console exclusives" and keeping Final Fantasy away from Xbox? They’re two faced
Richnj
@UltimateOtaku91 Cumatively, Sony’s deals have probably made more than 15m+ players miss out on content. Either permanently, or temporarily, but they were OK with that, because it benefitted them.
Yeah, this would suck to be an exclusive. I hope COD stays multiplatform. If it was up to me personally, all games would be multiplatform. And as with Minecraft, I’d see a multiplatform approach to just be a smarter choice.
But this fake concern about how these deals affects gamers bugs me.
Grumblevolcano
It’s good that Jim Ryan is fighting it to the bitter end. It falling through would also benefit Xbox players as it would force Microsoft to care more about Halo. Don’t forget there was a time when Halo was just as big as CoD.
carlos82
@get2sammyb exclusives are exclusives regardless of how they come about bit at no point have Microsoft ever said they’re taking COD away
pharos_haven
Can’t say I’m surprised the comment section has become more and more Xbox centric on a PS site.
11001100110zero
@IonMagi if it doesn’t go through, what’s to stop Activision from NEVER signing a new deal with PS. They could honestly do all they want to ***** on Sony. Sign a 10 year exclusive content deal with MS if they wanted.
UltimateOtaku91
Is anyone else getting bored of this now?
I mean this week has been excellent for gaming, Sony, nintendo and xbox have all had great shows and have made 2023 one hell of a year to look forward to.
Yet its this same news that over shadows everything every god damn week, and all of a sudden this week becomes a negative.
Can’t we just have one week of pure positivity for the gaming industry as a whole 😩
Repo_Dog
@Richnj Microsoft has been doing exclusive content as long as they have been in gaming same as Sony but only Sony bad ! Grow up console need excusive !
crazykcarter
I can see it coming out on both consoles but its whether the playstation version is inferior I’m interested in.
Release on both but offer the better experience on xbox
WallyWest
@get2sammyb Yeah i think people forget on here they aren’t businessmen and actually know very little about this stuff. Sony are a massive Corp who know way more about this stuff then any of us do.
Gamer_Guy
I must be fortunate to not give a ***** about Call Of Duty anymore, I guess.
All this crying over a bloated, has-been franchise.
UncleFranko88
Sony are some of the biggest hypocrites, how often do we get games that are console exclusive for a set period of time because Sony paid for that year or so exclusivity. We act like that didn’t hurt Microsoft in the long run.
SacredPYRO
@Fiendish-Beaver this is exactly what I said on the last article. Contracts need to be renegotiated. If MS offered lifetime access and then canned the series Sony would take them to the cleaners in court.
WallyWest
@Tasuki You do realize Bungie is staying Multiplatform right? Fun fact MS are just as toxic as Sony.
TheCollector316
@carlos82
It’s truly amazing, truly, the mental gymnastics you are doing here. You are equating individual IPs or games being exclusive (timed or otherwise) on one platform to an entire publisher (two in two years, mind you) of IPs and games being bought for the same purpose. Stunning.
Even if Microsoft CHOOSES to put Activision games on other platforms, they’ll have all the marketing rights, they’ll make sure the Xbox versions are the best, and they’ll use it as leverage to force the industry into a subscription service race to the bottom. We don’t need Microsoft dominating yet another industry simply because they have more money than their competitors.
WallyWest
@UncleFranko88 Remember when Phil said he didn’t want to remove games and didn’t like timed deals only to make Starfield Xbox/PC only and announce a load of timed deals at an Xbox showcase.
Both are as bad as each other.
Richnj
@Repo_Dog Yes, MS have been doing exclusives. And no, I never said only Sony was bad for doing it.
Thanks for completely misunderstanding my arguments but feeling like you contributed.
4kgk2
A lot of Xbox fanboy’s and Sony haters want Microsoft who can’t manage a Target to monopolize the industry because Sony getting better time exclusives 😂.
Royalblues
Say whatever you want about Jim Ryan and his crying. If they do successfully block the deal, he’ll be hailed as a genius, mark my words.
By you all, as well as the general public lol.
Minecraft is the most lucrative game on the planet, and it’s still on PlayStation.
Disney was actually allowed to buy Fox and decrease the size of the movie industry by a sizable chunk.
This deal will go through. Everyone needs to move on.
McBurn
Microsoft is right. It doesn’t make sense to take Call of Duty off PlayStation. Doesn’t mean they won’t do it.
They been doing stuff that make no sense all the time! Look at Gamepass and how it’s always just "sustainable", never profitable. They are willing to take financial losses in order to beat their competition no matter what it takes.
carlos82
@TheCollector316 nonsense, Jim Ryan himself only cares about COD and its not any different to the consumer, a game is either on your console or not regardless of the type of deal. Sony have been paying for exclusives for decades and continue to do so but don’t like it when someone else does it, not that they’ve even suggested they will make it exclusive
Snake_V5
Sony are right, there the king and should remain as the king.
Somebody
It’s funny how Jim Ryan keeps touting the success of Sony games on Metacritic and award shows but according to him the success of the playstation platform relies solely on one 3rd party game series with middling reviews.
Have some faith in your own company and set out to produce a valid competitor. It’s not reassuring at all to hear a CEO say it is not physically possible to compete with another companies game franchise. Nintendo hasn’t had Call of Duty for a long time and they don’t seem to care in the slightest.
Enigk
The games only sell about 20 million now it seems which is about 1/6 of the PS4 install base. I would say there are almost 100 million PS4 owners who don’t play COD. Sony need to realise they don’t need COD anyway and have faith in their own products.
4kgk2
I hope this deal goes though and Sony just buy both Capcom and Square Enix and see how Microsoft like barely having no Japanese AAA anymore. Sony also change they’re minds and make all Bungie games exclusives to include the next destiny.
tinCAT-zero
@get2sammyb
This is the kind of politics employed by big Phil Spencer. Anytime he has anything to say, he waits until till there’s a gang around him.
TheCollector316
@carlos82
There are other ways to leverage market power without making something fully exclusive. Again, exclusive games and IPs are on a MUCH smaller scale than buying whole publishers. In any case, Microsoft buys exclusives just like Sony does AND ALSO bought Bethesda so "Gaming for all" Phil can take Starfield away and are buying Activision to have control over their content, too.
IslandLogic
"We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience…" Cut the crap! The only thing this generation of Playstation cares about is profits and you’ve proved this to us more than once. If this deal forces Jimbo and crew to be more consumer friendly due to competition then I’m all for it!
ATaco
It is dangerous for one company to consume another company and slowly become a super company. Devolver was very satirical about it but yes, a future where one company owns everything would be incredibly bleak for gaming.
Juanalf
@DefiledViper "He’s actually doing what he should – fighting for his PlayStation customers"
Lol you can’t be serious c’mon dude 😅 Phil and specially Jim see us as walking piggy banks, how can you say that after Jim has raised the price of basically everything 😑
Jaz007
I hope the merger is prevented. That would be great if this was stopped. And it looks Sony is all in pushing for that. I know they want to protect their bottom, but what’s bets for gaming and that line up right now.
GamingFan4Lyf
I really feel like Sony is being petty and presumptuous here.
Microsoft has said time and time again that it won’t remove Call of Duty from PlayStation. Sony will just have to “play ball” with Microsoft instead of an independent Activision Blizzard.
To me, it seems like Sony just sees Microsoft as “the enemy” rather than just simply doing business with an IP holder.
I think Sony is just trying to get Microsoft to commit to some kind of lifetime deal for Call of Duty. It’s something Microsoft would be stupid to do in writing because then it holds Microsoft totally accountable for releasing CoD year after year else face serious breach of contract allegations should Microsoft simply decide it’s done with annual CoD releases.
Wording in writing is very important. Even making a written Twitter statement saying “CoD will always be on PlayStation for life” is enough to cause issue down the road. Microsoft legal knows this so, yes, Microsoft’s wording on “current contracts” and “extensions” is vague for a specific reason. Microsoft, rightfully, would need the ability to renegotiate deals.
I am sure even an independent Activision Blizzard wouldn’t make that kind of statement less it too gets put under the same legal pressure.
Somebody
Microsoft doesn’t own nearly as much of the gaming industry as embracer or tencent. There is literally zero pushback to those companies expansion.
Mr_Gamecube
It amazes me that Nintendo has a shooter to call their own with Splatoon but Sony does not. At least not a major one. Yes, they have Killzone and Resistance but none of Sony’s shooters reach the same level of success Nintendo found with Splatoon and Microsoft with Halo. Uncharted and The Last of Us may count, but are they recognized for being a shooter or more so action-adventure with story telling and epic set pieces?
Regardless, I’m not directly impacted by this acquisition as I have not played Call of Duty since Black Ops in 2010. But for those that do, I hope an agreement can be reached. The only thing that concerns me about this acquisition is if it leads to another major one like Square Enix or Sega.
carlos82
@TheCollector316 yeah Microsoft do the same, I’m not arguing against that, just the hypocrisy from Sony and this what’s good for gaming rubbish, all a day after showcasing yet more console exclusives.
Jim doesn’t care whether Crash or Spyro are exclusives, Sony barely kicked up a fuss over Bethesda and why? They don’t have the microtransaction revenue stream that COD does and that’s all this is about for Sony. Don’t get me wrong I think Phil is full of it as well to an extent and none of them do any of this for our benefit.
Ultimately what I’m saying is that from our perspective as gamers there is no difference between an Xbox player coming from 360 playing Final Fantasy XIII, then the Xbox One playing XV to all of a sudden the new games not being there and being on Playstation, or Knights of the Old Republic should it resurface, or the same on Playstation happening with Fallout or potentially (unlikely) COD, Crash etc.
In all cases many of us lose out one way or another
Juanalf
@AdamCorela "Microsoft brought a tank to a knife fight and Sony isn’t happy about it."
Pretty much! Sony does the same thing but on a smaller scale not because they feel guilty monopolizing the industry but because it’s all they can do with their worth.
Give them Microsoft’s worth and we would be seeing similar crap which I based on the millions they currently spend on third party exclusivity deals (timed games, dlc, perks).
This is honestly getting old, the deal is going through no matter how much Jim cries. You shouldn’t have to depend on a game made by a third party to sell your system. Nintendo sells theirs by the truckload just with their ips and Sony needs to do the same.
Toypop
Sony and MS senior management don’t care about "gaming".
They care about the performance of the company and revenues. That’s what they are employed and even legally obliged to do.
One might assume that what is good for gaming (read that as "good for you the gamer"), is good for their profits, but that’s not the case.
Sony only care because it gives MS an advantage. If Sony had the cash, they’d have bought and locked all those franchises into exclusivity in the blink of an eye.
So nice try Sony, but you ain’t mine or the industry’s saviours.
jcordeiro
Making public statements like this just makes Sony look incredibly petty
Tasuki
@WallyWest And so is Activision with games like CoD, Diablo and Overwatch. Sony is just upset because they won’t get special treatment anymore that’s all.
Somebody
Jim Ryan should be reassuring Sony fans that the best games will continue to be on the Playstation platform.
Instead he is choosing to imply that if this deal goes through then people would have no reason to choose playstation in the future. He is making the situation seem bleaker than it is. I think that sends the wrong message and would make any perspective console buyer even more nervous about PS.
He is turning a perspective console buyer from thinking “I MIGHT not have Call of Duty on PS at some point” into “I might not have call of duty and the CEO seems nervous and desperate as h*** about it”
get2sammyb
@UltimateOtaku91 It’s definitely boring but unfortunately it’s big news and not going away.
get2sammyb
@Somebody But you could also argue that the message they have to send is as bleak as possible if they want to argue against it, right? If they say, "Well it’s not such a big deal but it’d be nice if it didn’t happen" no one will listen.
They have to make it sound as bad as possible. Just like Microsoft have to make it seem as meaningless as possible.
WallyWest
@Tasuki Actually no, MS offered a 3 year deal only for COD. Overwatch and Diablo for the next entries are hitting PS because 1 MS doesn’t own them yet and 2 deals were already in place. As for the future of the series though? Who knows but MS have been purposely vague.
Somebody
@get2sammyb the odds are long that this deal is actually reversed. Is an attempt to shoot the moon worth it when doing so means you are are literally telling people we are doomed after this?
What happens when the deal is finalized? Smile and say just kidding, please buy a PS5?
get2sammyb
@Somebody I honestly don’t know, but they’ll obviously have very expensive lawyers and analysts advising them. It’s not something I could possibly comment on.
sanderson72
I don’t care about CoD – I care more for ex-Playstation mascot Crash becoming an XBox exclusive.
However, the potential for Microsoft to damage the PS ecosystem is too large to ignore. Imagine CoD for £70 on PS vs included with GamePass on XBox. If it’s cross-play, which console are the CoD players going to plump for?
Art_Vandelay
@Somebody They’re trying to buy as much time as possible to prepare for the worse, simple as that.
RobN
@TheArt Is it silly [to take an existing multiplatform hit and make it exclusive]? It depends on your priorities and goals. If your goal is to make the most money in the short term, then sure – release each game on as many platforms as you possibly can.
But if your goal is to try to seriously injure or kill a competitor so you can dominate the market and set your own prices for everything, then the strategy will be a LOT different.
There’s a sign that Microsoft can leave a studio alone, at least enough to continue making multiplatform releases – Minecraft speaks to that. But there’s evidence they’re buying studios to bolster XBox against Playstation – Bethesda speaks to that. So how does Microsoft really truly view Activision Blizzard and all its IP?
And will their answer during antitrust investigations persist, or will it change once the deal goes through? Microsoft themselves may not honestly know the answer to that.
Eadgar
@Snake_V5 Your comment gave me a great laugh and put a smile on my face. Thank you for that.
To contribute to the topic at hand, I think the reason this is such a big deal is because if the deal goes through (I think it will and I could care less honestly, I only play Overwatch from Activision-Blizzard) it is going to have major repercussions for the industry going forward that we are not yet aware of, or oblivious to at the moment. Think about it for a second here, when in the history of gaming has a third-party publisher ever been bought outright before?
I can think of no event of that magnitude ever happening before thus, this is going to have major implications for everyone in the industry involved, both consumers and developers. Anything will be possible now, and it will be interesting how the industry develops going forward.
I do not like where it is going personally, but I have developed a great amount of games in my backlog from the PS4 era all the way to the SNES era. I can comfortably play these games for the rest of my life and not play anything new and be happy with that in all honestly.
Somebody
@get2sammyb Microsoft offering a contractual obligation to release a game on their platform for 3 additional years is unprecedented (something Sony would never consider). Isn’t what Jim Ryan doing just burning a bridge unnecessarily?
For the record I do generally believe Microsoft would keep releasing COD on PS like they do with Minecraft but I don’t think Jim Ryan’s warpath is going to help anything between the two companies in the future.
Godot25
Lol. “By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry,” says Sony.
They should said “his deal would have major negative implications for Sony.” Like what the hell are they even talking about?
All while releasing trailer of all stuff that players on other platform would not be able to access in MWII and Hogwarts Legacy because they paid for it.
Just shut up. Being able to play Call of Duty as part of your subscription at 12,99€ per month on console that costs 299€ is not “negative implication for the gamers.” It’s exact opposite.
Art_Vandelay
"given its market leading console position"
These responses are carefully engineered, so it’s important to dissect the details and understand the implications. So, Microsoft is saying that, as long as it makes business sense, COD will remain on PlayStation because Sony’s platform is too big.
The funny thing is that if this deal goes according to Microsoft’s plan, Sony could no longer hold a "leading market position" in a few years. And thus it wouldn’t make sense to support COD on PlayStation any longer. Full circle.
Microsoft is clearly trying to buy their way into dominance and I hope it blows spectacularly in their face.
Flaming_Kaiser
@SinfulDestroyer They made one game on Xbox that bombed and they made a game for EA that bombed and 90% of their games are IP’s owned by Sony?
Tasuki
Removed – inappropriate
Flaming_Kaiser
@Godot25 Yep it starts like that. That why America has so much problems with monopoly. Amazon, Walmart, Disney even your Internet providers they start by killing of the competition by buying up everything and pricing everything to low.
Uber is a fantastic example investors keep pouring money in, selling at a loss because in the end the can dictate the price if nobody else is left. Amazon is the same i read it a lot that Amazon is the only one that delivers games in certain area’s in US.
And in the end you control the market and dictate the price. One big company that rules all is never good for anybody. I always laugh when people talk like these massive companies care one bit about us.
Flaming_Kaiser
@Tasuki We will see in three years if MS will still be the nice guys you make them out to be. But if i look at all the other US based companies i would not hold my breath.
Flaming_Kaiser
@Eadgar I totally agree big money buys up everything and in the end we all lose.
playstation1995
Like public enemy say.fight the power.word up son
CapGod
@get2sammyb well said
CapGod
It’s a shame sony thinks a recycled ooga booga annual game is too much.
Make a better game!!! You have the BEST devs in the world. The best ones. Nintendo come close but idk if they could handle high production games like gow.
Tasuki
@Flaming_Kaiser I just love how Sony thinks that CoD will become exclusive. Why on earth would MS shoot them selves in the foot? Just because Sony thinks that way doesn’t mean MS does. But sure believe what you want. Just sad that Sony has everyone blinded.
WallyWest
@Tasuki I also own a Series S and Switch and don’t sell myself to a Corp haha.
Titntin
Ive still no idea why people are talking about three year ‘contracts’ and them being renegotiated. I can only assume its because few have read the original statements? They were made directly to the verge.
Phil quite clearly gave PS a signed commitment for 3 years over the currently contacted supply, signed by microsoft, not Sony.
This was no doubt in an attempt to deflect further scrutiny. It was a commitment, not a contract, and would not be open for renegotiation.
Titntin
@Tasuki Are you for real? A company thats never made any cash from xbox, and one thats continuing to lose money on gp to buy market share.
Of course they would be happy to lose some profit to gain more market share – thats what they have done since they entered this buisness.
Amusing you think everyone else is blind whilst being so acutely unaware….
Tharsman
@Somebody
the odds are long that this deal is actually reversed. Is an attempt to shoot the moon worth it when doing so means you are are literally telling people we are doomed after this?
This is what makes me shake my head about all this. They are talking as if this will hurt them drastically, once this deal goes through… it is not about the customers, fans will be fans and continue to buy the console(s) they want, and fans of an IP will go to where the IP is. So this is more likely to make people get a second console than xbox be their only console.
But what will they tell their investors? This is likely going to result in their stock suffering a big hit when the deal finalizes. And you never truly recover from stock drops, you stumble and just climb again, lower than you would had been had you never stumbled to begin with.
Tharsman
@Flaming_Kaiser
Amazon is the same I read it a lot that Amazon is the only one that delivers games in certain area’s in US.
Bit out of topic, and obviously I am not everywhere in the US all at once, but this does not sound like its true at all. Basically, if you can receive mail, you can order from any retailer. Target, Walmart, GameStop, BestBuy, etc.
I could see them being more reliable at delivering you a copy of a game day one, but even that I have tested and had better luck from BestBuy than Amazon, at times. Either way we talking differences of what time of the day the delivery is made.
Snake_V5
@Eadgar 😄
Royalblues
Gotta feel for Sony’s first party devs. "Yeah, we might have the best talent in the business, but there’s no way they can make anything to compete with Call of Duty, no matter what they do."
The disrespect.
Carl-G
The only thing I am ‘WORRIED’ about is if Microsoft doesn’t get this deal then they might buy a big publisher I do like :-/ Then again I can’t really think of one I really do like Maybe Ubisoft because I like the Far Cry & Watch_Dogs games or Rockstar & er erm that is it & I reckon Jim should go into hiding because there are some bat crazy Xbox Fanboys out there :-/
Gunnerzaurus
@Enriesto It’s absolutely wild to me that the public opinion is defending a multi billion dollar company buying up one of the biggest developers in modern gaming to themselves for billions and billions of dollars is considered "good PR"
What a wild time we live in.
stvevan
more xbox fans here than sony, had to check i was on the right site!
is xbox gaming so bad you need to spend time seeing what PS has? huh
liljazzy2
Im going to just play games and not worry about what millionaires who work for billionaires have to say in their little professional spat.
Warriooh
I don’t put hours into call of duty anymore, but id rather it go too Xbox then some other companies that ain’t worth the mention for various reasons.
AverageGamer
I love how Jim Ryan is fight so hard against Microsoft, and calling foul. While his parent company is busy buying up the Anime industry.
@mrtennis1990 isn’t a monopoly when a there is a single seller in the market? Even with this purchase, Microsoft is still 3rd in the entire industry profit wise behind Tencent and Sony. Console market share wise they still won’t be able to compete against Nintendo and Sony. Nintendo has shown CoD isn’t need to out sell both Xbox and Playstation. Gaining King isn’t suddenly going to give Microsoft massive market share in the mobile industry…
The only thing that Microsoft can even remotely hold a monopoly in is maybe subscription services.
Enriesto
@Gunnerzaurus To be clear, I don’t think it’s a good thing this acquisition is underway. I’m not a cheerleader for Microsoft, despite loving Xbox (I love all three console ecosystems). So I can also be critical of Sony while enjoying my PS5, meaning I’ll exercise my skepticism when they do something as described in the article – doesn’t affect me enjoying a little Returnal tonight.
I’m also not sure what you mean by good PR. Do you mean Microsoft is being seen as something positive for this deal being made? I certainly don’t, which is why Phil and his associates are so often covered about their thoughts on the process. Believe me, I don’t accept much of what they say – they can’t appear malevolent by any stretch.
That said, I think you would agree that Sony is, at the very least, not helping their image at all in engaging their competitor with all these online feuds. They have years left with COD, and can figure something out.
MattBoothDev
It is extremely bad for gaming to let either of the two own Activision, but especially Microsoft. It’s still the same old Microsoft.
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