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Sony's Jim Ryan deems Xbox's three-year extension for Call of Duty "inadequate"

According to PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan, Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for the next three years undermines its guarantee to the PlayStation audience.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 7, 2022

2 Min Read
Screenshot from the upcoming game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.

Call of Duty was announced by Microsoft to continue being available to PlayStation owners and with the same amount of content, should Microsoft successfully acquire Activision Blizzard. But PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told GamesIndustry that the Xbox maker's offer is "inadequate on many levels." 

"Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends," said Ryan. "We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle."

Ryan also took the moment to call out Spencer for making the situation a public spectacle. "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," he said. "Their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our players."

Sony's made no secret of its dislike of the popular shooter franchise being owned by Microsoft. Last week, Xbox's Phil Spencer said that it would continue to make Call of Duty multiplatform for at least three years after Sony's current deal with Activision expires, calling it a "principled path." 

It's worth noting that Call of Duty games began having PlayStation-exclusive content in 2015, which came after Xbox had an exclusivity deal with the shooter beginning in 2010. The exclusive content has ranged from DLC maps and timed exclusive modes to early beta access. 

Back in August, Sony said that Call of Duty is a franchise without equal, and referred to the series as one of its primary sources of third-party revenue. 

"CoD's network of loyal users is so ingrained that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, it would not be able to create a rival," wrote Sony last month. "It's synonymous with first-person shooters and essentially defines that category."

Microsoft's "principled path" isn't exclusive to Call of Duty, as the company plans on employing the same strategy for Blizzard games such as Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. As the company continues to acquire studios and franchises, Spencer has been pretty candid in saying that determining which titles are Xbox exclusive would be on a case-by-case basis. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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