SIE CEO Admits Xbox, Activision Deal Isn't About Exclusives

SIE CEO Admits Xbox, Activision Deal Isn’t About Exclusives

Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has made quite a stink about Microsoft’s deal to try and buy Activision. However, his private emails show that he might not be as worried as his public statements have implied.

Jim Ryan’s private emails differ slightly from his other statements

This came to light in an unsealed email revealed in the Federal Trade Commission hearing regarding Microsoft’s proposed deal to buy Activision. The email between Ryan and a former Sony CEO talks about exclusivity and how he thinks Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation.

“It is not an exclusivity play at all,” said the email. “They’re thinking bigger than that and they have the cash to make moves like this. I’ve spent a fair amount of time with [Xbox CEO Phil] Spencer [and Activision CEO] Bobby [Kotick] and I’m pretty sure we will continue to see Call of Duty on PlayStation for years to come. We have some good stuff cooking. I’m not complacent, I’d rather this didn’t happen, but we’ll be OK, we’ll be more than OK.”

This is different from Ryan’s other statements, as he allegedly previously said in a hearing that he didn’t “want a new Call of Duty deal” and that he only wanted to block the merger. And despite him saying in that aforementioned email that he was “pretty sure” Call of Duty would stay on PlayStation, he stated in the past that “[its] business would never recover” if Call of Duty was downgraded on PlayStation (something Sony has brought up before) because players would “desert [the PlayStation] platform in droves.”

Microsoft has offered to continue putting Call of Duty on PlayStation multiple times. Ryan called one of these previous Call of Duty dealsinadequate on many levels” even though it promised to keep the series on PlayStation for “several more years.” Microsoft then offered a longer 10-year, which Sony refused. Nintendo, however, accepted that deal. Kotick also accused Sony of “trying to sabotage” the acquisition and said Ryan had stopped communicating with Activision and Microsoft.

General manager of public affairs at Microsoft David Cuddy gave a response to The Verge, pointing out that Sony knew Microsoft would stand by its word and keep some of its games on PlayStation.

“Today showed Sony has known all along we’ll stand by our promise to keep games on its platform and made clear its work to lobby against the deal is only to protect its dominant position in the market,” said Cuddy.