The CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment reportedly had some choice words during a meeting with Activision.
A photograph of an older man with grey blonde hair smiling at the camera.

It has been a ridiculous day for Sony when it comes to new details that have come out about the company's opposition to the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard merger.

First, a new report from The Verge's Tom Warren shared some key pieces of information from documents (PDF download) that were recently submitted to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Of the concerns that Sony has, the company that brought the PlayStation 5 to the world is worried that Microsoft could raise the price of Call of Duty. They also worry that Microsoft could make Call of Duty available on through its Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

Perhaps most odd is the belief from Sony that Microsoft could intentionally release a version of Call of Duty on PlayStation that has more bugs or less performance than the Xbox versions of the game.

Microsoft might release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty where bugs and errors emerge only on the game’s final level or after later updates. Even if such degradations could be swiftly detected, any remedy would likely come too late, by which time the gaming community would have lost confidence in PlayStation as a go-to venue to play Call of Duty. Indeed, as Modern Warfare II attests, Call of Duty is most often purchased in just the first few weeks of release. If it became known that the game’s performance on PlayStation was worse than on Xbox, Call of Duty gamers could decide to switch to Xbox, for fear of playing their favourite game at a second-class or less competitive venue.
This is some real tin foil hat stuff here.

And yet, this conspiracy fueled fear isn't even the most shocking thing revealed today. That dubious honor belongs to Activision Blizzard CCO and executive vice-president of corporate affairs, Lulu Cheng Meservey. Moments ago on Twitter, Meservey put up a couple of tweets that say Sony executives have ulterior motives that have nothing to do with Call of Duty.

"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.

"We've also offered Sony guaranteed long-term access to Call of Duty.

"But they keep refusing.


"The CEO of SIE answered that question in Brussels.

"In his words:

"'I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger.'"
The CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) being none other than Jim Ryan.

Tom Warren asked Meservey in replies, "When did Jim say that?" Meservey replied with, "Feb. 21." This was the apparent date of a closed doors meeting between Sony, Activision Blizzard, and the CMA.

Without being there, hearing a recording of this meeting, or seeing a video recording of the meeting the remarks by Meservey could be a half-truth or even an outright lie. There is no way for us to currently verify this information. However, Meservey's tweets are still up over two hours after being posted (at the time of writing). If what she said isn't true, I'd have to imagine she'd have been asked to remove them by Activision's legal counsel by now else she leaves herself open to a defamation lawsuit.

Microsoft has recently bent over backwards to show the CMA that they are committed to keeping games like Call of Duty as multiplatform titles should this acquisition be approved. Microsoft recently agreed to 10-year commitments with Nintendo and Nvidia to bring Xbox titles to those platforms. An additional commitment was made to Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo hardware for at least the next 10 years. In November 2022, Microsoft also reportedly offered Sony a similar deal that would keep Call of Duty coming out on Sony platforms for at least ten years.