Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan just effectively told Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to f#@k off with their deals and concessions.
More than a year after Microsoft told everyone it wants to buy the Call of Duty publisher, Sony has apparently had it. Most recently, Sony was asked by the UK CMA to reveal details about its third-party deals. But, it appears that Ryan's statement precedes this. It's believed that Ryan told Activision Blizzard and Microsoft during a closed-door hearing with European Commission regulators on February 21.
Specifically, Activision exec Lulu Cheng Meservey was the one who revealed Ryan's choice words for the hopeful merging companies:
I don't want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger.
This statement comes days before Microsoft announced its licensing deals with Nintendo and Nvidia, which preceded a revelation that it extended a similar offer to PlayStation.
We can't deny that we've learned a lot from the ongoing deliberations between Microsoft, Sony, and Activision Blizzard as well as the regulatory bodies. However, it's clear that Sony doesn't want the merger to happen. It doesn't matter if Microsoft says a potential Call of Duty exclusivity "makes zero business sense."
As the merger deadline approvals loom, we'll hear more from the parties involved. The European Commission will make its decision on April 25 followed by the UK's CMA on April 26.
Speaking of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft claims it can get Warzone 2.0 to run on the Nintendo Switch, which is a direct opposition to the views of the UK CMA. This is another development worth following. Call of Duty 2024 is still expected to be available on the PS4 and Xbox One. If Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard, the tech giant will have to get succeeding Call of Duty installments to run on the aging hybrid console.