PlayStation boss Jim Ryan wasn't worried about Call of Duty becoming Xbox exclusive after Microsoft Activision deal was announced, email shows

COD Mobile players parachute to a battlefield below
(Image credit: Activision)

A newly revealed email suggests PlayStation boss Jim Ryan wasn't overly concerned that Call of Duty would become an Xbox exclusive franchise shortly after Microsoft's Activision buyout was announced.

The email, dated just two days after the buyout was made public in January 2022, was shown during Thursday's hearing between Microsoft and Activision and the US Federal Trade Commission (via IGN), which is seeking approval for a preliminary injunction against the purchase.

"It's not an Xbox exclusivity play at all," Ryan said in the email, "they're thinking bigger than that, and they have the cash to make moves like this. I've spent a fair bit of time with both Phil [Spencer, Xbox boss] and Bobby [Kotick, Activision Blizzard boss] over the past day. I'm pretty sure we will continue to see COD on PS for many years to come."

Microsoft's lawyers argued that Ryan's relatively carefree attitude at the onset of the transaction proves the PlayStation maker's main interest in stopping the buyout from closing is protecting its leading position in the market.

"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," a spokesperson for Microsoft told IGN.

As Microsoft begins defending its intended purchase of Activision against the FTC in court, the Xbox company has made clear the stakes couldn't be higher. On Thursday the company said the week-long hearing will "decide whether the deal goes forward," explaining that if a judge grants an injunction against the purchase it could result in a delay significant enough to sink the transaction.

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.