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Activision Blizzard won't receive PlayStation dev kits if it's acquired by Microsoft

"We simply could not run the risk of a company that was owned by our direct competitor having access to that information."

Chris Kerr

June 28, 2023

2 Min Read
A photograph of the PlayStation 5 and DualSense controller

Sony will refuse to send PlayStation development kits to Activision Blizzard if Microsoft completes its acquisition of the Call of Duty publisher.

That's according to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, who was speaking during a pre-recorded video deposition as part of the FTC's trial into Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion merger with Activision Blizzard.

As highlighted by IGN, Ryan said that that handing over PlayStation dev kits to a company "owned by our direct competitor" would be too big a risk.

"We simply could not run the risk of a company that was owned by our direct competitor having access to that information," Ryan explained. "That information could leak into other parts of Microsoft and potentially allow them to be able to develop similar features to the ones that we would argue that we invented."

Notably, Ryan added that Sony wouldn't feel comfortable using a contract to ensure Activision Blizzard wouldn't lift the lid on any new PlayStation features it might have in the works.

Dev kit leaks aren't Sony's only concern

Ryan's deposition has offered a huge amount of insight into how Sony views Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal.

For instance, Ryan conceded that while exclusivity deals for other titles like Starfield and Redfall aren't "anticompetitive," the Japanese company had expected those games to eventually land on PlayStation prior to the ZeniMax deal going through.

He also reiterated his belief that Xbox Game Pass is "value destructive" and that cloud gaming will become a vital market between 2025 and 2035.

In addition, the PlayStation boss said he didn't initially feel the Activision Blizzard merger was an attempt to secure exclusivity for franchises like Call of Duty, but now feels that Microsoft will eventually stop bringing those titles to PlayStation if the deal is approved.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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