Sony has responded to Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, citing contractual agreements.
Earlier this week, Microsoft dropped a megaton when it announced it has acquired publisher Activision-Blizzard. The nearly $70 billion deal is expected to close somewhere next year and will make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue after Tencent and Sony. As expected, following the announcement, people started asking questions about the possible exclusivity of Activision’s massive IPs, including the Diablo and Call of Duty franchises. According to a recent Bloomberg report, Microsoft intends to keep “some” franchises multiplatform, whereas others will become exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem. Microsoft’s Xbox head, Phil Spencer, later said that he doesn’t want to pull communities away from PlayStation by making future games from Activision-Blizzard Xbox exclusives.
“I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that”, Spencer said.
So what’s Sony’s stance about Activision-Blizzard’s franchises following the acquisition? As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Sony expects that Microsoft will “abide” by its contractual agreements. Of course, this refers to Sony’s current ongoing deal with Activision for the Call of Duty franchise, which is only a temporary situation.
“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesman told the publication when asked about the matter.
“The big hits, in particular, produce a significant (and often majority) revenue from the Sony side”, Senior Analyst and Product Manager at MIDiA Research, Karol Severin, told us when we asked him about it. “It wouldn’t be financially sound to turn that revenue off, particularly because given Microsoft’s mega-portfolio (if the acquisition closes), it doesn’t need to. Engaging in hard exclusivity could risk alienating users on the other side, which still remain very valuable.”