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PlayStation’s Jim Ryan calls out Xbox over its “inadequate” Call of Duty offer – Effinate Games


When Microsoft announced its acquisition of Activision, an immediate assumption was that the Call of Duty franchise would be released exclusively on Xbox going forward. However, Microsoft would later insinuate that this would not be the case and that certain Activision titles would continue to be released for other platforms, such as the PlayStation.

Quite recently, Xbox boss Phil Spencer even told The edge that an agreement had been signed with Sony to ensure that Call of Duty games would be released for PlayStation for at least “several more years” after Sony’s own contract with Activision expired. However, PlayStation’s own Jim Ryan has called Microsoft out and said that by “several” Microsoft only meant three.

“I wasn’t going to comment on what I perceived 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,” Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz.

Spencer described Microsoft’s offer as “an offer that goes far beyond typical game industry deals,” but Ryan clearly disagrees, calling it “inadequate.”

“Microsoft has only offered Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current deal between Activision and Sony ends,” he says. “After nearly 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and did not consider the impact on our players. We want to ensure PlayStation players continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”

While Call of Duty has never been a PlayStation exclusive, Activision and Sony have had a special arrangement regarding the franchise for a long time. There’s a reason why the public beta versions of the newer entries, including the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, were first made available on PlayStation.

Assuming the purchase goes through, Microsoft wouldn’t immediately be able to make the series an Xbox exclusive because that arrangement would still be in place. When the deal expires, there’s technically nothing stopping Call of Duty from going Xbox only.

This is not the first time Sony has been critical of the Microsoft/Activision deal. Last month, the company argued that Call of Duty is too popular for any other franchise to reasonably compete with it, and that belonging to Microsoft would influence people to choose an Xbox console over a PlayStation.

The agreement also faces scrutiny from the authorities. Microsoft needs approval before it can complete its acquisition, which the UK regulator believes could breach competition law. Basically, Microsoft has to prove that owning Activision won’t give it an unfair advantage in the gaming market, which of course Sony thinks it will.

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