A Microsoft leader rips into Sony’s endeavors to hold up consolidation talks because of the potential power shift brought about by the Vital mission at hand.
A comment made by Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan regarding Call of Duty has been revealed by an Activision executive who has a track record of taking shots at Sony on Twitter. Without additional context, Sony’s head’s comment could be interpreted as brazenly stubborn, but it adds a new element to Microsoft’s struggle with regulators to complete the deal.
The story of the merger between Microsoft and Activision and Sony’s attempts to stop it has taken many twists and turns, including the president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, pulling out an unsigned agreement at a press briefing in Brussels. On the same day, Microsoft announced a partnership with Nintendo that would see the return of Call of Duty to the console.
Microsoft is entering into 10-year agreements with Nintendo and NVIDIA to support its ongoing arguments that it does not want to restrict the platforms on which one of the largest gaming franchises appears. Sony continues to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard on the grounds that it is concerned about competing with the Call of Duty brand.
Lulu Cheng Meservy, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Activision, was responding to reports on Twitter that Sony is concerned that Microsoft will release Call of Duty games with bugs on PlayStation in an effort to harm the game’s reputation on the platform.
In the thread, she discusses a stunning comment that Sony Interactive CEO Jim Ryan made during a private meeting with the EU’s European Commission. She begins by asking why Sony is reluctant to accept Microsoft’s offer to other businesses. She then asserts that Jim Ryan stated, “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal” during a February 21 closed-door meeting. I want to prevent your merger.
Microsoft offered Sony (the dominant console leader for well over a decade, with 80% market share) a 10 year agreement on far better terms than Sony would ever get from us.
We've also offered Sony guaranteed long-term access to Call of Duty.
But they keep refusing.
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) March 8, 2023
Due to her remarks about Activision Blizzard’s unions and other statements regarding the Activision Blizzard and Microsoft deal, Lulu Cheng Meservy is a controversial figure on Twitter. However, as a Microsoft executive, she is privy to the proceedings in regulatory courts.
The assertion was also supported by The Verge’s Tom Warren. Jim Ryan’s statement comes across as petty and blunt stonewalling when it is removed from additional context and possible tone.
On the internet, gamers have questioned Sony’s reputation. Gamers continue to hear Microsoft executives discuss the Call of Duty brand and the company’s plans to expand the franchise to additional platforms.
As some of the most important government regulators consider Sony’s concerns, the acquisition process has become mired in confusion. Sony does not want to lose any advantage or potential revenue from Call of Duty sales through the PlayStation platform to its biggest competitor, even as Microsoft continues to demonstrate its willingness to make deals.
Before the final regulatory body makes its decision, it may be possible for Sony to make even more brazen statements if the statement made by SIE CEO Jim Ryan is truly indicative of Sony’s intention to prevent the merger between Microsoft and Activision.
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