Sony has made its first statement since Microsoft announced its buyout of Activision Blizzard, with the Japanese tech giant eager for current agreements with Activision – which publishes franchises synonymous with PlayStation such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro – to be upheld. Sony also has a deal with Activision currently for Call of Duty marketing each year alongside exclusive content for PS4 and PS5 platforms
“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal earlier today. Microsoft has already shown its willingness to uphold such agreements, with both Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo remaining limited-time PS exclusives following Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media last year.
Sony will certainly be hoping that existing contracts will be upheld. However questions are being raised about whether or not future games that are yet to be developed will be released on PlayStation platforms. And, this statement doesn’t seem to provide any more certainty to those concerns.
The company’s shares plummeted by $20 billion following the announcement that Activision Blizzard would be joining the Xbox family in a landmark $69 billion deal. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer acknowledged after the acquisition announcement that “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms”, and said Xbox plans to “continue to support those communities moving forward”, though much uncertainty remains as to how far this support will extend for PlayStation.
Today is a historic moment. We are excited to announce that the world-renowned franchises and talented people at @ATVI_AB will be joining Team Xbox!
— Xbox (@Xbox) January 18, 2022
With Xbox Game Pass set to be strengthened greatly by the deal, there could be implications for Spartacus – PlayStation’s heavily-rumoured upcoming competitor to the service – should key titles become unavailable.
It is certainly a time of great uncertainty for Sony, with Microsoft’s continued push to drive value into its Game Pass model contrasting heavily with its own focus on big-budget first-party titles like the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West.