Skip to main content

PlayStation CEO skewers Xbox offer to keep Call of Duty multi-platform: "Inadequate on many levels"

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan says Xbox's offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years after the publisher's current deal ends is "inadequate on many levels." 

In a statement to GamesIndustry (opens in new tab), Ryan addressed the deal which Xbox head Phil Spencer mentioned earlier this month in his own statement on the effects of Microsoft's still-pending, near $70 billion acquisition of Call of Duty publisher Activision

"Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends," Ryan says. "After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle." 

As The Verge (opens in new tab) reported last week, Spencer revealed that "in January, we provided a signed agreement to Sony to guarantee Call of Duty on PlayStation, with feature and content parity, for at least several more years beyond the current Sony contract, an offer that goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements." 

Ryan also set his sights on Spencer's statement specifically, stressing that "I hadn’t intended to comment on what I understood to be a private business discussion, but I feel the need to set the record straight because Phil Spencer brought this into the public forum."

Surprisingly candid comments aside, all of this echoes reports from January which alleged that PlayStation would get "at least" the next three Call of Duty games (presumably assuming an annual release schedule, though recent rumors claim the series may skip 2023). 

Microsoft has also repeatedly claimed that Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation "into the future," though Spencer's recent statement on a three-year window was the first to provide official specifics on how far into the future that might be.  

Spencer upheld this stance in an official statement published on September 1. "We’ve heard that this deal might take franchises like Call of Duty away from the places where people currently play them," he wrote in a blog post which also confirmed that multiple Activision Blizzard games including Call of Duty would be coming to Game Pass

"That’s why, as we’ve said before, we are committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere. We will continue to enable people to play with each other across platforms and across devices," Spencer promised. 

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has expressed concerns that Microsoft buying Activision could unfairly box out rivals such as PlayStation and impede future competition in the industry. 

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.