As the legal proceedings and approvals on the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal have gone on, PlayStation has increasingly expressed that it does not want the deal to go through. That expression has reportedly intensified to the possibility of restricting Activision Blizzard from future console development cycles. Where Activision Blizzard has apparently worked with Sony to help develop features for PlayStation consoles in the past, Jim Ryan has recently suggested that it would be too risky to do that if Microsoft owned Activision Blizzard.
This suggestion came up in a heavily redacted deposition from April 2023, as shared by Stephen Totilo of Axios. In said deposition, Jim Ryan discussed Sony’s previous collaboration with Activision Blizzard on consoles with the US Federal Trade Commission.
“We simply could not run the risk of a company that was owned by a direct competitor having access to that information,” Ryan told the FTC. “As an independent company, Acitvision is incentivized to make great games on all platforms.”
Ryan would go on to suggest that if Microsoft finishes acquisition of Activision Blizzard, he believes the company would be less likely to “develop games that take advantage of features that the PlayStation has or that the Xbox does not have.”
Ryan goes on to point to Minecraft as part of its concerns with Activision Blizzard. Where PlayStation still has Minecraft on its consoles, and runs the game in crossplay with other platforms, Ryan seems to suggest business with developer Mojang has been affected by Microsoft’s acquisition.
Currently, Microsoft is set to go to court with the FTC to deal with an injunction the latter intends to file to block the deal. Microsoft is also still dealing with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which has currently blocked the deal in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, Ryan’s deposition paints a stark picture, suggesting PlayStation and Activision Blizzard relations may be more than strained if the deal finally closes. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further updates.