The latest in the ongoing and seemingly never-ending Xbox/Activision Blizzard deal dispute has taken another small step in favor of Microsoft, with the Japan Fair Trade Commission actually ruling in favor of the merger and stating, “Microsoft’s Activision deal will not harm competition,” before closing its review on the matter.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was quick to add his thoughts on the updated circumstances in a letter sent to Activision employees on Tuesday, one in which he called Sony’s behavior over the Xbox/Activision deal “disappointing,” but something for which they wouldn’t hold a grudge against Playstation’s parent company.
“We all know our passionate players would be the first to hold Microsoft accountable for keeping its promises of content and quality parity,” Kotick said in the letter to employees regarding the Xbox/Activision Blizzard deal. “And, all of us who work so hard to deliver the best games in our industry care too deeply about our players to ever launch sub-par versions of our games.”
The comment regarding launch of “sub-par versions of our games” was in reference to Sony’s claim that after the Xbox/Activision Blizzard deal had gone through, Microsoft might release deliberately buggy versions of Call of Duty games on Playstation consoles to make the Xbox versions of Call of Duty preferable to the player base.
Earlier this month, Activision Blizzard’s EVP of corporate affairs and CCO, Lulu Cheng Meservey, alleged on Twitter that SIE president Jim Ryan had told Microsoft and Activision, “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger.”
Meservey also claimed that Sony, who was the “dominant console leader for well over a decade,” would be getting “far better terms” in the Xbox/Activision Blizzard deal than Sony would offer them in the same situation.
“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,” Meservey said. “We’ve also offered Sony guaranteed long-term access to Call of Duty. But they keep refusing. Why?”
Kotick made reference to Sony wanting to block the Xbox/Activision Blizzard deal in his letter as well.
“Sony has even admitted that they aren’t actually concerned about a Call of Duty agreement—they would just like to prevent our merger from happening,” Kotick continued. “This is obviously disappointing behavior from a partner for almost thirty years, but we will not allow Sony’s behavior to affect our long term relationship.”
Kotick concluded, “PlayStation players know we will continue to deliver the best games possible on Sony platforms as we have since the launch of PlayStation.”
What do you think of the comments made by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick surrounding the latest circumstances in the Xbox/Activision Blizzard deal? Do you think Sony’s behavior regarding the merger has been “disappointing” as Kotick described it? Let us know in the comments.