Sony is not impressed by Microsoft’s promise to keep Call Of Duty multiformat and claims their deal is ‘inadequate on many levels’.
Microsoft clearly hoped that its promise of keeping Call Of Duty on PlayStation for ‘several more years’ would convince monopoly investigators that it’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is not a threat to the current balance of power in the games industry.
Whether that will win anyone over remains to be seen but Sony is certainly not convinced. Not only that, they’re angry that Microsoft was talking about their discussions in public.
‘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,’ said PlayStation boss Jim Ryan.
The public statements from Phil Spencer were clearly aimed more at investigators than ordinary gamers and they were vague enough about the details to make it seem as if Call Of Duty would remain multiformat for the foreseeable future.
However, technically ‘several’ only means more than two and according to Sony’s comments Microsoft has used the absolute minimum definition of the word, with their promise of three more years beyond the current marketing deal.
The marketing relationship between Sony and Activision has been in place since the PlayStation 4 era (previous to that Activision partnered with Microsoft on the Xbox 360) and currently covers this year’s Modern Warfare 2 and the next two games after that.
There’s still uncertainty as to whether there will be a new Call Of Duty next year but assuming there is a new title each year, that means that Call Of Duty 2028, and all subsequent games, will likely be Xbox exclusives.
‘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,’ a clearly perturbed Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz.
‘We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call Of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle,’ he added.
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