The news shook the world of video games at the beginning of last year and we haven’t stopped talking about it since. When it was announced that Microsoft was purchasing Activision-Blizzard, we all reacted with disbelief and wondered what the consequences would be. It was a reflection process that, of course, the top officials at PlayStation could not escape. Sony tried to analyze the situation as soon as the announcement was made and the company’s reactions. They weren’t very different from ours.. There were concerned bosses, others did not give it much importance and some even began to work on ‘diplomatic’ relations between competitors.
Sony always hoped that Call of Duty would continue on PlayStation
We have been able to learn more details about Sony’s initial reactions through a chain of emails between PlayStation officials that have been revealed in the context of the lawsuit between Microsoft and the FTC. One of the most interesting details is that those responsible for PS5 were clear from the first days that the objective was not only to have exclusive games. “It’s not at all a play to have Call of Duty exclusives. They’re thinking bigger than that and they have the money to make a move like that. I’ve spent some time with Phil (Xbox CEO) and Bobby ( CEO of Activision) in recent days. I’m sure we will continue to see CoD on PlayStation for many years to come,” said PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan.
In this email exchange, the head of Sony’s video game division also qualified his words. “I am not pleased and I would prefer it not to have happenedbut we will be more than fine,” he said. In addition, he assured that there were “good things in the process.” It is unknown what exactly he refers to, but the truth is that the company hit the table with the acquisition of Bungie just barely. a few months later. In this sense, Jim Ryan’s intention was to calm the spirits of Chris Deering (president of Sony Europe), who had a somewhat more negative vision. Of course, Chris himself said that it seemed more like “a play for King than for CoD.” He also claimed that they could have guaranteed the immediate exclusivity of Call of Duty (without respecting a pre-existing agreement between PlayStation and Activision) for a few 5 billion dollars.
Call of Duty was Sony’s first concern after learning of the purchase of Activision Blizzard.
“If this was a play to kill PS5 or something like that, I think it will not have significant success (…) The future of our baby (in reference to Sony consoles) It doesn’t take away my sleep even a little bit.. I hope you agree,” said Chris Deering. This is where what seems like a joke from the Sony boss comes in that should have remained a comment between co-workers, but that transcended the context of the trial. As a postscript, Chris said the following: “They would do better if they announced a new electric car.” Time will tell if the words will go down in history as a failed prediction. The truth, in any case, is that the future of Xbox is beginning to have a much more interesting look.
Everything is said, the presence of Call of Duty on PlayStation, which seems assured for the next decade, did not seem to be in Microsoft’s initial plans. As Jim Ryan said a year ago, the first offer Sony received was simply to respect the existing three-year agreement and from there market it exclusively in the Xbox ecosystem. An idea that he harshly criticized. Since then there have been different exchanges of statements in what seems like a tug of war for each company to defend its own interests. There are still some chapters of this soap opera, although it is expected that the outcome will arrive in the coming weeks.