PlayStation head Jim Ryan has responded to Xbox head Phil Spencer’s assertion that Microsoft and Xbox would commit to keeping the Call of Duty series on PlayStation for “several more years” once Activision’s advertising deal with Sony expires.
Despite Spencer telling The Verge that the future Call of Duty games released for PlayStation would have “feature and content parity” and that the offer made to Xbox’s biggest rival went “well beyond typical gaming industry agreements”, Ryan seemed less than pleased with what is likely to be the future arrangement between the two companies should Xbox’s acquisition of Activision ultimately go ahead.
“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 in a statement to gamesindustry.biz.
“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.”
It is believed that the deal between Sony and Activision Blizzard for Call of Duty currently only covers the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2, and an unannounced game by Treyarch set to arrive by 2025. After that point, should Microsoft own Activision and their intellectual properties, they will understandably be able to do whatever they want with them, leaving rivals like Sony on edge.
This has been a key discussion point surrounding Microsoft’s Activision acquisition, which is likely to experience further examination by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority following an initial report. Should regulators around the world give the companies involved the go ahead, the merger is expected to be completed by the end of next summer.