Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has had some strong words about rival Sony in the fight over whether regulators will allow Microsoft to bid for Activision Blizzard. He said above Second request podcast that Sony was trying to grow its own business by making the Xbox smaller.
“There’s really only one person who opposes the deal itself, and that’s Sony. Sony is trying to preserve their dominance on the console. The way they’ve evolved is to make the Xbox smaller,” Spencer said. “They have a very different view of the industry than we do. They don’t ship their games every day on PC, they don’t register their games when they release their games. They’re starting to catch up. I first think of cell phones as I see them from the outside, just reading some of the movements they’re making.”
Spencer went on to say that Sony’s embrace of Call of Duty in its argument as to why the no-deal deal made no sense to him. Spencer said Microsoft has repeatedly said it won’t remove Call of Duty from the PlayStation if its bid goes through. In fact, Spencer said he and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called Sony on the day it announced the deal to buy Activision Blizzard to say that they intend to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation if the deal is accepted.
“But because Sony is leading all the dialogue around why this deal shouldn’t be passed in order to preserve their dominant position on the console, what they’re embracing is Call of Duty,” he said.
Nintendo has accept Microsoft’s offer to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo for 10 yearsand Microsoft made a deal that Valve also accepted for the future of Call of Duty on PC (although Valve’s Gabe Newell says a formal contract is not necessary). Now, Microsoft is being “slowed down” by Sony because of the ongoing negotiations, Spencer said. And why? Because it helps Sony’s position, in theory, because “it’s a good basis for regulators to discuss this,” Spencer said.
Spencer said Microsoft will not remove Call of Duty from PlayStation because doing so would be a bad business decision. He said PlayStation is the most popular console platform for the Call of Duty series, and removing it from the system would cost “billions” of revenue. Spencer also reiterates that Call of Duty on PlayStation won’t be a second-rate experience if their deal to buy Activision Blizzard goes through, as Microsoft will launch the same version with similar features at the same time.
“The world’s largest console maker is raising objections to a franchise we’ve been told will continue to appear on the platform. It’s a deal that benefits customers through through choice and access,” Spencer said.
Microsoft’s bid to buy Activision Blizzard has been approved in places like Serbia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, but the UK and US have yet to make an official decision. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to have a caucus today, December 8to discuss the agreement and potentially determine if it will filed an antitrust lawsuit, as reported.
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