PlayStation Boss Allegedly Flew To Brussels To Voice Concerns Over Microsoft's Call of Duty Deal
European Union regulators will either approve the Activision Blizzard acquisition on November 8 or start a more detailed round of scrutiny.
PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan personally flew to Brussels last month to discuss Microsoft's plan to acquire Activision Blizzard, according to a new report.
According to Dealreporter (via VGC), Ryan spoke to European Union regulators who are currently examining the proposed acquisition and voiced concerns over its console rival having ownership of the Call of Duty franchise through the deal. Activision's FPS series is one of the best-selling games on PlayStation almost every single year, and PlayStation is reportedly concerned that it could lose access to future installments once current deals have been honored.
"The brand was the only video game IP to break into the top 10 of all entertainment brands among fans, joining powerhouses such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings," Sony representatives said in an earlier statement to Brazil's regulatory body. "Call of Duty is so popular that it influences users' choice of console, and its community of loyal users is entrenched enough that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, it would not be able to rival it."
For its part, Microsoft has confirmed that it plans to continue developing Activision franchises for competing console platforms and said that it would continue supporting Call of Duty on PlayStation "beyond the existing agreement" that had been established. "It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market-leading console position," Microsoft said last month.
Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Warzone 2 in 2023, and a new Call of Duty core release in late 2023 will all be available on multiple platforms, including PlayStation.
Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard was announced in January 2022 and is expected to close by June 2023. The European competition watchdog has set a provisional deadline of November 8 to either give its stamp of approval to the deal or start a second investigation phase that will scrutinize the specifics more closely.
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