When the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority blocked Microsoft’s proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition, it did so on the basis of the potential harm it could cause to the burgeoning cloud gaming market, though for much of the industry at large, the potential exclusivity and availability of call of duty has been a much bigger talking point.
Microsoft has signed deals with a number of companies, including the likes of Nvidia and Nintendo, that will keep call of duty on their platforms for at least the next 10 years should the acquisition go through, and though a similar offer was made for PlayStation as well, Sony refused to accept the deal. Microsoft also stated it would let Sony put call of duty games on PlayStation Plus immediately upon launch as part of the agreement.
The maker of PlayStation has expressed time and again that the damage to PlayStation will be “irreparable” if call of duty becomes a Microsoft-owned franchise- though as it turns out, internally, the company isn’t all that concerned about the series becoming exclusive to Xbox and PC.
That’s as per an internal company email sent by PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan in January 2022, shortly after Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision. Viewed and shared by IGN, the email reveals that as per Ryan, the deal is “not an Xbox exclusivity play at all”, and he believes call of duty games will continue to release for PlayStation “for years to come.”
“It’s not an Xbox exclusivity play at all,” Ryan wrote in the email, “they’re thinking bigger than that, and they have the cash to make moves like this. I’ve spent a fair bit of time with both Phil [Spencer, boss of Xbox] and Bobby [Kotick, boss of Activision Blizzard] over the past day. I’m pretty sure we will continue to see COD on PS for many years to come.”
In response to Ryan’s email coming to light, Microsoft has issued a statement to IGN, saying, “Today showed Sony has known all along we’ll stand by our promise to keep games on its platform and made clear its work to lobby against the deal is only to protect its dominant position in the market.”
Interestingly, earlier this year, it emerged that the PlayStation chief wasn’t interested in a new call of duty deal from Microsoft with better terms, and instead was just looking to block the Activision acquisition.
Sony has previously also said that Microsoft could still damage PlayStation’s reputation among the call of duty playerbase by through late-game or post-launch glitches showing up only in PlayStation versions of call of duty titles. Read more on that through here.