Sony CEO Jim Ryan reportedly rejects Call of Duty deal with Microsoft and aims to block Activision Blizzard acquisition
Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan has reportedly stated that he has no interest in working out a deal with Microsoft over Call of Duty and only wants to block Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition. This is according to Activision Blizzard EVP Corporate Affairs and CCO Lulu Cheng Meservey explaining that Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year agreement, which is better than any deal Activision Blizzard would give.
“I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger.”
In a recent Tweet, Meservey quoted Jim Ryan’s words that were said during the behind-closed-doors hearing with the European Union regulators, the European Commission, on February 21. Ryan’s statement explains why Sony hasn’t agreed to any deals with Microsoft.
Microsoft offers 10-year Call of Duty licensing deal to Sony
Microsoft offered Sony (the dominant console leader for well over a decade, with 80% market share) a 10 year agreement on far better terms than Sony would ever get from us.
We've also offered Sony guaranteed long-term access to Call of Duty.
But they keep refusing.
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) March 8, 2023
According to Meservey, Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year agreement with better terms than Sony would ever get from Activision Blizzard. The offer also included guaranteed long-term access to Call of Duty. Despite these advantages, Sony has refused the offer.
Microsoft’s agreements with Nintendo and Nvidia
Microsoft signed a “binding 10-year legal agreement” last month to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms if its acquisition of Activision Blizzard is approved.
The new legally binding agreement will guarantee Call of Duty games will release on Nintendo platforms the same day as Xbox with “full feature and content parity.” In addition, Microsoft has recently entered into a 10-year partnership with Nvidia to enable the streaming of Xbox games on PC through the Nvidia GeForce Now cloud gaming service.
Sony accuses Microsoft of degrading Call of Duty’s performance on PlayStation
Microsoft and Sony have both had two new documents published by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority antitrust agency. In these documents, Sony makes controversial arguments including Microsoft’s potential willingness in deliberately degrading or downgrading Call of Duty’s performance on PlayStation consoles.
Sony has yet to respond to Ryan’s statement, but it is possible that we’ll see more statements made to larger video games news outlets as merger deadline approvals loom on the horizon.
European Commission decision expected in April
The European Commission is expected to deliver a decision on April 25, and the UK’s CMA will follow a day later on April 26. This decision will determine whether Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will proceed.
Who is Jim Ryan? Meet the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment
Jim Ryan is the current CEO and President of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), the gaming division of Sony Corporation. Since taking over the position in April 2019, Ryan has been instrumental in leading the gaming giant’s efforts to expand its reach, create exclusive titles, and secure deals with third-party game developers.
Early Career and Rise to CEO
Ryan has had a long and successful career in the gaming industry, with more than 25 years of experience under his belt. He began his career in 1994 as a graduate trainee with Sony’s European branch, Sony Europe. He then moved on to work for various gaming companies, including Eidos Interactive and Codemasters, before returning to Sony in 1998.
At Sony, Ryan held various positions, including Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Head of Global Sales and Marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment International. In 2011, he was appointed President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, a position he held until his appointment as CEO of SIE in 2019.
A Visionary Leader
Under Ryan’s leadership, Sony has seen tremendous success in the gaming industry. In his first year as CEO, he oversaw the launch of the highly successful PlayStation 5 console, which quickly became one of the most sought-after gaming devices on the market. Ryan has also been instrumental in securing major deals with third-party developers, such as Square Enix and Activision Blizzard, to create exclusive titles for PlayStation.
Ryan has a reputation as a visionary leader who understands the gaming industry and is not afraid to take risks. He has been vocal about his plans to expand the reach of PlayStation beyond the console, including creating mobile versions of popular titles and exploring new business models, such as subscription-based gaming.
Challenges and Controversies
Ryan has not been without his share of challenges and controversies during his tenure at SIE. One of the most significant challenges he faced was the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the production and distribution of the PlayStation 5. However, Ryan’s team was able to pivot and overcome these obstacles, leading to a successful launch of the console.
Controversies have also involved Ryan, such as his recent statement regarding Call of Duty and Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Although some have questioned the authenticity of these reports, they have sparked conversations about the competitive nature of the gaming industry and the lengths companies will go to protect their interests.
Jim Ryan is a highly respected and influential figure in the gaming industry, with a long history of success and a vision for the future. Under his leadership, Sony has remained a dominant force in the industry and has continued to innovate and push boundaries. While challenges and controversies may arise, it is clear that Ryan’s leadership and strategic thinking will continue to drive SIE forward in the years to come.