Boss of PlayStation Jim Ryan travelled to Brussels to meet EU regulators in person to discuss Microsofts impending Activision Blizzard purchase.
Ryan has been vocal in his criticism of the proposed $68bn deal, which would see Xbox own the Call of Duty publisher.
Dealreporter (via VGC) reports that Ryan flew to Europe on 8th September to meet regulators and express his concerns face-to-face.
Representatives of Google, owner of Stadia, have also reportedly raised issues.
Just days after the meeting, the UKs Competition and Markets Authority announced it would further investigate Microsofts proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Shortly after, Sony and Microsoft began a war of words online, trading increasingly blunt statements about the potential deal.
For its part, Microsoft has repeatedly promised to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several more years” – a pledge that Ryan previously blasted as “inadequate on many levels”.
Microsoft owning Call of Duty for itself – even if it continues to release on PlayStation – appears to be Sonys biggest issue with the overall transaction. Sony has suggested Microsofts current claims leave the door open to Call of Duty becoming Xbox-exclusive at some point in the future, something which could then seriously harm future PlayStation hardware sales.
And even if Call of Duty was to remain on PlayStation, theres also the likelihood of Microsoft launching future COD games via Xbox Game Pass – leaving customers with a choice of whether to play the game via their Xbox subscriptions, or stump up £70 on PlayStation.
In another statement last month, Sony said it welcomed the UK regulators announcement it would further investigate the Microsoft-Activision deal, which would “have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry”.
“We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience,” Sony said, “and we appreciate the CMAs focus on protecting gamers.”
Microsoft swiftly replied that it would make “zero business sense” for it to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation “given its market leading console position”.