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[WSJ] Sony Expects Microsoft to Keep Activision's Existing Contractual Agreements

3liteDragon

Gold Member
Activision supplies some of the most popular games for Sony’s PlayStation game console, including the Call of Duty series.
TOKYO— Sony Group Corp. said Thursday that it expected Microsoft Corp. to ensure that games from Activision Blizzard Inc. are available on non-Microsoft video game platforms if Microsoft completes it's proposed acquisition of Activision.

“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesman said Thursday.

Activision supplies some of the most popular games for Sony’s PlayStation game console, including the Call of Duty series. After Microsoft on Tuesday announced it's acquisition plan, some analysts raised the possibility that Activision games might be available exclusively for Microsoft’s own Xbox console and it's subscription videogame services in the future.

Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming, mentioned other platforms in a press release Tuesday but didn’t give details of Microsoft’s plans. “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward,” he said.
The MarketWatch thread's been updated with new info from Financial Times:
 
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//DEVIL//

Member
Misleading head title really.

Sony is saying it expect MS to honor the contractual agreements between Sony and acti. Which MS said it will.

Has nothing to do with what happened after the agreement end .Sony does not expect MS to release activision games multiplatform after the agreements end. They are not that naive
 
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Elios83

Member
I think this is a way to calm down investors telling them that the implications of the deal are long term.

Indeed it's hard to tell which deals have been signed, which platforms they cover and how long they'll stay in place.
And it's not just about PS5, there could be deals in place to offer a VR mode of future COD games for PSVR2 for years. There could be a deal about Activision putting certain games on Spartacus for years.

It's uncertain but it's clear there will be a long transition phase. Even with Bethesda after almost two years we're still waiting for MS to publish a new PS5 exclusive.
 

Zok310

Member
The point it’s agreements are in place to keep COD on PS4 and PS5 most likely. Or MS can just agree to pay Sony to get out of these contracts.

Lots of people are going to be in denial once this clears and shits still on all platforms for the rest of the gen.
 
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sinnergy

Member
Misleading head title really.

Sony is saying it expect MS to honor the contractual agreements between Sony and acti. Which MS said it will.

Has nothing to do with what happened after the agreement end .Sony does not expect MS to keep activision games multiplatform after agreements ends. They are not that naive
Yup ! After this , Sony needs to pay up 🤣
 

VN1X

Gold Member
Desus And Mero Good Luck GIF by Bernie Sanders
 

Ellery

Member
Some games with microtransactions certainly make sense so that users from other platforms pay money which directly goes to Microsoft.

In the end it will be people in suits crunching numbers all day trying to see what makes sense from a business perspective to generate the most money to recuperate from the 70 billion $ investment.
 
The point is agreements are in place to keep COD on PS4 and PS5 most likely. Or MS can just agree to pay Sony to get out of these contracts.

Lots of people are going to be in denial once this clears and shits still on all platforms for the rest of the gen.

Lol. We don't know the terms or details of any deals, but once they are through its pretty obvious to anyone that COD mainline games will be xbox / gamepass / PC only.

Yes there will be games like war zone which will remain on both platforms, but at one point any and all future titles will be for gamepass.
 

Relique

Gold Member
Why would Microsoft treat Activision's games any differently than Bethesda's?
They're not. The Bethesda games under Sony contract remained on the PS5 (like Deathloop). Like it says in the quote there are contractual agreements between Sony and Activision. They probably have a sort of marketing deal for a few years.

Those deals can potentially cover multiple future games or even the rest of the generation. We've seen examples of this in the past like Assassin's Creed marketing/exclusive DLC deals that lasted for all the AC entries on PS3, Battlefield 3/4, Destiny deal, etc. We saw the same type of deal with Call of Duty franchise on PS4 so it's possible they have something on paper to keep at least COD for a while. Once the contracts are fulfilled then Microsoft will do whatever they want.
 

kyussman

Member
I guess if Sony have a contract that states COD must stay on their platform forever then they are good......but I would imagine they don't,lol.
 

oldergamer

Member
It doesn't make sense to make COD exclusive. It makes its money multiplatform. What I expect they will do is make some of the other titles they own exclusive, or appear on Xbox first. COD will continue to be day one on PlayStation, however they might want to slow the cadence or reduce the scope of the game. If not, then it's business as usual.

I hope people aren't forgetting MS are the ONLY console maker making games for all consoles already. This doesn't seem like a different situation.
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
what contracts did they have with activision?

Activision has a Call of Duty exclusivity deal that makes the Xbox and PC versions of COD incomplete every year. The PS4/5 version of COD gives players there additional load out slots, and there are game modes, like the 2 player Co-Op mode in Modern Warfare, that are exclusive to PlayStation.

The deal is done in four-year cycles. Sony had it from 2014-2018, and it was renewed in 2019; meaning it's set to expire in 2023.
 

mansoor1980

Gold Member
Activision has a Call of Duty exclusivity deal that makes the Xbox and PC versions of COD incomplete every year. The PS4/5 version of COD gives players there additional load out slots, and there are game modes, like the 2 player Co-Op mode in Modern Warfare, that are exclusive to PlayStation.

The deal is done in four-year cycles. Sony had it from 2014-2018, and it was renewed in 2019; meaning it's set to expire in 2023.
thanks
 

ckaneo

Member
Sony will get Modern Warfare 2 this year and Black Ops in 2023, that will be the end of their exclusivity deal. From 2024 onward COD is exclusive to Xbox and PC and will be on GamePass.
They will get Modern Warfare 2. Anything after that needs shouldnt be assumed because we dont have the exclusivity deal in hand
 
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Maxwell Jacob Friedman

leads to fear. Fear leads to xbox.
Not my post however this actually makes sense and comes from someone who actually knows what they are saying, disregardinf fanboyism

"
Thats a pretty specifically worded statement that if it came from Sony directly (which the WSJ claims) was likely vetted by legal and PR teams before being made. They didn't reference a contractual agreement to blow smoke, as doing so is investor fraud and one of the few white collar crimes actually enforced (because executives can lie to you and me but they sure as fuck can't lie to the investor class).

My guess is that the co-marketing deal is through the end of the generation or some similar term and Sony knows that between the 12-18 month review and approval process and the existing co-marketing deal that CoD being exclusive to Xbox isn't a PS5 problem, its a PS6 problem, i.e. half a decade down the road.

Potentially the same for Overwatch. Blizzard was selling franchise licenses to speculative owners and there is a high likelihood those speculators had contractual language ensuring a broad base for the IP. The market value of an e-sports franchise that isn't playable by the current market leader's audience isn't going to be of the same net value as it was when universally multi-platform.


Anti-trust isn't just about top line market share. A lot of older industries are regulated by regions, market segments, etc.. My company was denied purchase of a competing facility owned by the national market leader that runs entirely thanks to a cooperative deal we have in place, with 90% of its "product" being from our front line and into our end facilities because we were far and away the market leader in the county (not state, though we're that too, just not by as much) for those services.

If MS catches a savvy and progressive assessment team they could pretty easily make a worthwhile case that Microsoft adding Call of Duty and Overwatch to Halo, DOOM, and Gears would provide a significant market advantage in online/competitive shooter space specifically and in the FPS genre at large, both significant segments of the market.

Thats what anti-trust really amounts to. Does the team catching this at the FTC have the perspicacity to split these hairs, the desire to do so, and if so does the argument hold merit enough for a judge to agree.

If the FTC team on this decide to go after it they'd be able to make some real lop sided looking pie charts within specific segments of the VG industry. They probably won't as the FTC are largely a bunch of old heads who don't get IP power at all, but who knows, Biden's admin claims they're turning things around.


Depends on the terms. For something like Activision and CoD, where CoD is basically all they currently make under the main Activision banner and they have an extensive co-marketing deal Sony could pretty easily:
1. let MS violate the terms.
2. see a CoD release as an Xbox exclusive despite existing contract requirements being violated.
3. argue that damages caused irreparable harm to the Sony brand.
4. require that future CoD releases would only increase the harm and therefore a stay on all future CoD releases is required.
5. Literally make up a mythological number for damages that MS would then be obligated to pay.
6. MS can then either pay Sony billions and go back to honoring the contract or appeal/challenge repeatedly, likely ultimately still lose, and not get to make any money off CoD until its resolved.

We've had multi-billion dollar copyright infringement cases in recent history for the smartphone sector (Samsung caught quite a few specifically) over things with less demonstrable damage than pulling the #1 selling game off a platform despite a contract requiring the exact opposite.

But MS' executives would never intentionally violate a contract like that because while they wouldn't "go to jail" they would massively fuck up the operations of the trillion dollar company and a multi-billion dollar division within it that they've been entrusted with running.

And because they aren't absolute fucking morons."
 

ckaneo

Member
Not my post however this actually makes sense and comes from someone who actually knows what they are saying, disregardinf fanboyism

"
Thats a pretty specifically worded statement that if it came from Sony directly (which the WSJ claims) was likely vetted by legal and PR teams before being made. They didn't reference a contractual agreement to blow smoke, as doing so is investor fraud and one of the few white collar crimes actually enforced (because executives can lie to you and me but they sure as fuck can't lie to the investor class).

My guess is that the co-marketing deal is through the end of the generation or some similar term and Sony knows that between the 12-18 month review and approval process and the existing co-marketing deal that CoD being exclusive to Xbox isn't a PS5 problem, its a PS6 problem, i.e. half a decade down the road.

Potentially the same for Overwatch. Blizzard was selling franchise licenses to speculative owners and there is a high likelihood those speculators had contractual language ensuring a broad base for the IP. The market value of an e-sports franchise that isn't playable by the current market leader's audience isn't going to be of the same net value as it was when universally multi-platform.


Anti-trust isn't just about top line market share. A lot of older industries are regulated by regions, market segments, etc.. My company was denied purchase of a competing facility owned by the national market leader that runs entirely thanks to a cooperative deal we have in place, with 90% of its "product" being from our front line and into our end facilities because we were far and away the market leader in the county (not state, though we're that too, just not by as much) for those services.

If MS catches a savvy and progressive assessment team they could pretty easily make a worthwhile case that Microsoft adding Call of Duty and Overwatch to Halo, DOOM, and Gears would provide a significant market advantage in online/competitive shooter space specifically and in the FPS genre at large, both significant segments of the market.

Thats what anti-trust really amounts to. Does the team catching this at the FTC have the perspicacity to split these hairs, the desire to do so, and if so does the argument hold merit enough for a judge to agree.

If the FTC team on this decide to go after it they'd be able to make some real lop sided looking pie charts within specific segments of the VG industry. They probably won't as the FTC are largely a bunch of old heads who don't get IP power at all, but who knows, Biden's admin claims they're turning things around.


Depends on the terms. For something like Activision and CoD, where CoD is basically all they currently make under the main Activision banner and they have an extensive co-marketing deal Sony could pretty easily:
1. let MS violate the terms.
2. see a CoD release as an Xbox exclusive despite existing contract requirements being violated.
3. argue that damages caused irreparable harm to the Sony brand.
4. require that future CoD releases would only increase the harm and therefore a stay on all future CoD releases is required.
5. Literally make up a mythological number for damages that MS would then be obligated to pay.
6. MS can then either pay Sony billions and go back to honoring the contract or appeal/challenge repeatedly, likely ultimately still lose, and not get to make any money off CoD until its resolved.

We've had multi-billion dollar copyright infringement cases in recent history for the smartphone sector (Samsung caught quite a few specifically) over things with less demonstrable damage than pulling the #1 selling game off a platform despite a contract requiring the exact opposite.

But MS' executives would never intentionally violate a contract like that because while they wouldn't "go to jail" they would massively fuck up the operations of the trillion dollar company and a multi-billion dollar division within it that they've been entrusted with running.

And because they aren't absolute fucking morons."
lol, stop posting resetera on here
 

assurdum

Member
They said the same about Bethesda...is it really necessary such PR claim Sony? Good Lord we are back again to when gamers are considered idiots?
 
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ckaneo

Member
And yet it makes sense....
lol, just because it's long form doesnt mean it makes sense

"My guess is that the co-marketing deal is through the end of the generation or some similar term and Sony knows that between the 12-18 month review and approval process and the existing co-marketing deal that CoD being exclusive to Xbox isn't a PS5 problem, its a PS6 problem, i.e. half a decade down the road."

The delusion.
 
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