PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan thinks that Microsoft’s offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for an additional three years beyond the current contract is “inadequate on many levels.”
With the news recently that Activision Blizzard games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo will be coming to Game Pass when the Microsoft acquisition is finalized, the topic of Call of Duty appearing on multiple platforms came up. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer mentioned that Microsoft has “provided a signed agreement to Sony to guarantee Call of Duty on PlayStation, with feature and content parity, for at least several more years.”
Jim Ryan was none too pleased with that arrangement.
“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,” Ryan said to GamesIndustry.biz.
“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. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”
The irony is that PlayStation has locked up exclusive content franchises like Call of Duty and Destiny. They’ve also raised the price of PlayStation 5 games from $60 to $70. They also had console-exclusive deals for Bethesda titles like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo.
That’s not to say that Microsoft is innocent here; the highly anticipated Bethesda RPG Starfield will be Xbox exclusive. The company also had exclusive Call of Duty content before Sony’s most recent deal with Activision.
Ultimately, this feels like Jim Ryan doing what he can to help defend the value of the PlayStation brand.