Sony argues Microsoft Activision deal would have "major negative implications for gamers"

·2 min read
 A soldier with a skeleton mask looks over their gun and into the camera
A soldier with a skeleton mask looks over their gun and into the camera

Sony has claimed that Microsoft buying Activision would have "major negative implications for gamers," supporting an investigation into the Xbox Activision deal led by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.

In a statement to GamesIndustry, Sony affirmed that it "welcomes the announcement" of the CMA's renewed investigation. The government agency announced a new phase of investigation into the deal on September 1, after initially expressing anti-competitive concerns back in July.

Sony echoed the CMA's points in its full statement, which highlights the importance of Call of Duty specifically. "By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry," the company told GamesIndustry. "We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers."

That last line echoes PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan's thoughts from earlier this month. Addressing an offer from Xbox to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for the next three years, Ryan skewered the deal as "inadequate on many levels" and argued that "Microsoft's proposal undermines [the] principal" of multi-platform parity.

Interestingly, GamesIndustry also received a new statement from Microsoft regarding PlayStation's comments on Call of Duty exclusivity, though the company didn't speak to Ryan's remarks directly. "It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position," Microsoft affirmed, upholding repeated pledges from Xbox boss Phil Spencer and Microsoft president Brad Smith.

Microsoft's $70 billion Activision purchase still has a lot of red tape to clear, and with so many valuable IP on the line both Xbox and PlayStation undoubtedly have more barbed remarks in reserve, so expect the two to continue to clash as the deal is vetted.

Saudi Arabia was the first country to approve the Microsoft Activision deal