PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has labelled Microsoft’s offer to keep Call of Duty on the platform “inadequate on so many levels.” Both Ryan and Xbox CEO Phil Spencer — the biggest gaming executives — are hashing it out in public, in regards to Call of Duty’s multi-platform agreement. Speaking to The Verge last week, Spencer stated that Xbox is committed to keeping the shooter on PlayStation for “several more years.” But in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Playstation boss Ryan clarified that the deal only lasts three years.
Following the CMA’s (Competition and Markets Authority) phase one investigation into Microsoft’s $68 billion (about Rs. 5,41,800 crore) buyout of Activision Blizzard, Spencer confirmed in a blog post that Call of Duty would be joining Xbox Game Pass. In addition, the franchise was also touted to honour a same-day launch on the PS4 and PS5, noting that Sony was an important part of the gaming industry. While initially, players were worried about Call of Duty getting hard-locked to Xbox, that fear subsided when Spencer claimed that the agreement would last “several more years.”
“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 because Phil Spencer brought this into the public forum,” PlayStation CEO Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz. Turns out, Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years, after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. The running deal entails that PlayStation users gain early beta access to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 remake. The beta phase begins on September 18, a week before Xbox and PC players get access.
“After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their [Microsoft] proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle,” Ryan concluded.
For now, Spencer has neither responded to these comments, nor offered details on when Call of Duty gets added to Game Pass. That said, once the acquisition is complete, we could expect minor bonuses like the aforementioned “early access” for CoD, advertised exclusively on the Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. The buyout also brings the 6v6 team-based shooter Overwatch and multiple Diablo games over to Xbox’s game subscription service.
Last week, Microsoft made its long-rumoured Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan official, revealing pricing details in Colombia and Ireland. The subscription will allow users to share their account benefits with up to four people, provided they all reside in the same country. The plan is currently unavailable in India, the US, the UK, or the rest of the world — further details are expected in time.