Sony wouldn’t “risk” sharing PS6 info with Activision if it were owned by Microsoft

activision blizzard ps6

Microsoft’s acquisition deal would turn Activision Blizzard into a competitor, so Sony wouldn’t share information about the PS6 if it happened, says Jim Ryan.


That’s a very long, ungainly headline up there, isn’t it? Sorry about that. It’s a side-effect of just how knotty Microsoft’s proposed, multi-billion dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard has become.

In court documents unearthed by Axios reporter Stephen Totilo – and brought to our attention by the lovely Eurogamer – Playstation head honcho Jim Ryan has talked about Sony’s future relationship with Activision Blizzard if the buyout were to go through.

In short, Ryan said that such a deal would turn Acti-Blizz from just another publisher to a direct competitor. This would mean that, where in the past it would give a major developer like Activision Blizzard early access to technical information and dev kits for a new console – you know, like the PS6 – its ownership with Microsoft would make such access to risky.

Sony “simply could not run the risk of a company that was owned by a direct competitor having access to that information,” Ryan said in a statement to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC, you’ll remember, has sought to block Microsoft’s deal for some time now, having argued in December 2022 that the ownership of Acti-Blizz would  “enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.”

The Commission then successfully issued an injunction against Microsoft on 14 June, which means it will be temporarily unable to close its deal without a court’s say so.

Ryan’s comments about sharing information with Activision Blizzard were made in April this year, and provide a hint at the ripple effect Microsoft’s acquisition could have on the wider industry. The PS6 probably isn’t probably due for at least another five years, but Sony’s refusal to share dev kits would make it nigh-on impossible for Activision Blizzard to make, say, a Call of Duty sequel for the console when it emerges.

Ryan also argues that, were Activision Blizzard owned by Microsoft, the publishing giant’s “primary incentive… would be to optimise its overall Xbox business, not the business of Activision.”

Like the FTC, Sony has long been against Microsoft’s $69 billion merger.

A court hearing is scheduled this month in San Francisco. Its findings could have a major bearing on what happens next; assuming it isn’t pushed back, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have until 18 July to get their deal signed.

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