Wars are still being fought over the fallout of Microsoft's mammoth acquisition of Activision Blizzard back in January. Specifically, what will happen to the industry-leading Call of Duty franchise. Though Microsoft has stated several times its intention to continue releasing Call of Duty on PlayStation, PlayStation head Jim Ryan has remained unpleased with the situation.
In a statement to The Verge, Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed that, following Microsoft's offer to buy Activision Blizzard, they provided Sony with a signed, written statement that they would continue to put Call of Duty on PlayStation with full content and feature parity and on the same day as other platforms, for "at least several more years" following the end of Sony's current contract with Activision Blizzard, which he boasted was "well beyond typical gaming industry agreements." It's not currently known how many games are covered by Sony's current deal with Activision Blizzard.
Ryan shot back at Microsoft in a statement released to GamesIndustry.biz, calling Microsoft's offer "inadequate on many levels." Microsoft's proposal only extended the current offer for three years, which Ryan felt undermined their ability to provide PlayStation players with a top-quality Call of Duty experience. He also expressed some frustration with feeling compelled to make a public statement, adding "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."
Meanwhile, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority has decided that its investigation into the Activision Blizzard acquisition will require a more-detailed "phase 2" investigation to see if the deal could seriously impact Sony's ability to compete fairly in the UK, believing that Call of Duty alone is a big enough console seller. Sony, speaking again to GamesIndustry.biz, celebrated the announcement, declaring that "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. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA's focus on protecting gamers." Microsoft shot back with a terse statement to Eurogamer, simply stating "it makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position."