Sony was unwilling to renew marketing deals for the Call of Duty series in an attempt to thwart Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. This was stated by Bobby Kotick, as reported in a Microsoft document, which also indicates the end date of the current agreement: 2024.
According to a document released by Charlie Intel, Kotick allegedly tried to discuss the matter with Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony, and Jim Ryan, CEO of PlayStation. It was Ryan who allegedly turned down the offer and expressed his wish that “the regulators do their job and block” the takeover.
After that, Ryan wrote to his former boss at PlayStation Europe, whom he considers a real mentor, a letter in which he explained that there were no exclusives in the deal and that he was confident that the Call of Duty series would remain on PlayStation. A letter with this exchange of views has already surfaced in the past.
Ryan seemed to have only one goal in mind: to block the acquisition while maintaining the belief that the Call of Duty series would never leave the PlayStation platform. He also used Call of Duty’s Xbox-exclusivity issue as an excuse to try to stop the deal.