Phil Spencer says Sony objects to Activision acquisition because it's "trying to protect its dominance"

Xbox Game Studios Activision Blizzard
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Xbox's Phil Spencer has said there's "one major opposer to the deal" of the company's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, adding that competitor Sony "is trying to protect its dominance on the console".

Talking on the Second Request podcast (via VGC), Spencer added that "the way [Sony] grow[s] is by making Xbox smaller".

"[Sony] has a very different view of the industry than we do," he said on the show. "They don't ship their games day and date on PC, they do not put their games into their subscription when they launch their games."

The comments come just days after it was revealed that the US Federal Trade Commission is suing to block Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, alleging that the deal would "enable Microsoft to suppress competitors" and ultimately harm competition in the games industry. This loosely echoes several arguments raised by Sony in a rebuttal submitted as part of the UK Competition and Markets Authority's investigation of the deal.

“Sony is leading the dialogue around why the deal shouldn’t go through to protect its dominant position on console, so the thing they grab onto is Call of Duty,” Spencer said on the podcast. 

"The largest console maker in the world raising an objection about the one franchise that we've said will continue to ship on the platform. It's a deal that benefits customers through choice and access."

Did you miss Xbox at The Game Awards 2022? You aren't alone. Interestingly, though, Xbox VP Aaron Greenberg acknowledged the company's conspicuous absence from the show and wants you to know that we won't be waiting too much longer for announcements. 

No, we didn't get any specifics, but Greenberg did tease that the team had "a lot planned to show and share about an incredibly exciting year ahead for 2023".

"Appreciate folks are eager to learn and see more. Timing is always key, but don’t worry you will not have to wait too long for what’s next from us," Greenberg added.

Looking at Xbox's 2023 calendar of upcoming games, it's plain to see that there's plenty to be excited about. Bethesda's hyped Starfield is confirmed to be launching exclusively on Xbox platforms during the first half of 2023, as well as Arkane's co-op shooter Redfall, the next Forza game, and - eventually, anyway - Hellblade 2, Perfect Dark, Fable, Avowed, and Outer Worlds 2. No, those titles don't have any firm release dates just yet, but - as always - we'll let you know just as soon as they're confirmed.

Here are our picks for the best Xbox Series X games.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.