Since Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Call of Duty and Overwatch, for $68.7 billion, it’s been grappling with legislators around the world to gain permission to close that deal.
Currently, the company is facing scrutiny from the American Federal Trade Commission in court, with the proceedings having already revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes information about Microsoft and Activision.
What do you think about these comments from PlayStation’s Jim Ryan?
As reported by IGN, during day three of the Microsoft/FTC hearing, Ryan was asked about Starfield and Redfall being exclusive to Xbox consoles and responded: “I don't like it, but I have fundamentally no quarrel with it.”
He then added with regards to the former not being released on PS5: “I don't like it, but I don't view it as anti-competitive.”
While the issue of console exclusivity has been a key concern outlined by many of the parties opposing the Microsoft/Activision deal, including the FTC, most of the discussion about it has centred around the Call of Duty series. Ryan suggested in an email released earlier in the trial that he expects COD to continue to release on PlayStation consoles regardless of the deal.
Meanwhile, another email, this time from Bethesda’s Pete Hines, has since revealed that Bethesda has had some concerns regarding how their own titles becoming exclusives, while Call of Duty remains multi-platform, might be viewed.
During his testimony, Ryan also claimed that publishers he’s talked to “unanimously do not like” Xbox Game Pass, with the PlayStation CEO referring to the service as being “value destructive.”
As proceedings continue, it’s important to remember that July 18, 2023, the date that would see Microsoft and Activision Blizzard forced to enter proceedings to renegotiate the terms of the deal in order to extend the deadline for it going through, is fast approaching.
If the preliminary injunction is granted, the FTC will be able to bring about a separate legal challenge to the deal, currently timetabled for August 2, before it closes.
Regardless of what you think of this titanic legal tussle, make sure to check out our coverage of the game series it affects, including our array of guides to the latest developments in Warzone and Modern Warfare 2, with Season 4 having recently kicked off in the latter.