PlayStation has said that Xbox’s offer to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles is “inadequate on many levels”.
This comes in response to a previous statement from Xbox President Phil Spencer who said that should Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard go ahead, Call of Duty would remain on PlayStation consoles for several more years even after their current contract with Activision ends.
Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan spoke on GamesIndustry.biz saying he was not satisfied with the offer.
“I hadn’t intended 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 into the public forum,” said Ryan.
“Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”
The current Call of Duty deal between Activision and PlayStation includes Call of Duty Modern Warfare II (2022), releasing this year, Call of Duty Warzone 2, and a new game developed by Treyarch, who develops the Call of Duty Black Ops titles.
According to VGC, several regulators are investigating Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard over potential monopolization and antitrust issues. Last week the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that its inquiry into the Acquisition may be expanded due to concerns about competitors’ ability to compete.
“PlayStation currently has a larger share of the console gaming market than Xbox, but the CMA considers that Call of Duty is sufficiently important that losing access to it (or losing access on competitive terms) could significantly impact Sony’s revenues and user base,”
“This impact is likely to be felt especially at the launch of the next generation of consoles, where gamers make fresh decisions about which console to buy. The CMA believes that the Merger could, therefore, significantly weaken Microsoft’s closest rival, to the detriment of overall competition in console gaming.”
The CMA says that they are moving to create an independent panel to determine if Microsoft’s ownership of franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft will be truly detrimental to competitors.
This back and forth between Playstation and Xbox over the acquisition has been going on over the last few months with Microsoft previously saying that Sony pays for ‘Blocking rights’ to keep games of Xbox. The two will likely keep responding to each other as the situation around the acquisition develops.
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