Why is PlayStation fighting tooth and nail to keep Call of Duty on its consoles? Well, in court documents brought to light by the FTC’s ongoing lawsuit against Microsoft, an email from bigwig Jim Ryan suggests the series netted Sony $800 million in revenue in the United States alone. That figure accounted for 2021, so the number’s likely to have fluctuated in recent years, but clearly we’re talking about a significant chunk of change here.
Sony’s routinely argued that it’s impossible to create a rival to the juggernaut first-person shooter series, given the scale of the brand and its overall popularity. With the kind of numbers being made public here, it’s hard to disagree with the Japanese giant’s opinion.
Of course, you could also argue that these numbers are so impressively large that Microsoft would never remove Call of Duty from sale on PlayStation consoles, which is the conclusion that the European Commission came to. Obviously, the Redmond firm has committed to continuing to release the series on Sony systems for at least ten years, although what would become of the rest of Activision Blizzard’s properties remains unclear.
In a testimony earlier in the week, Jim Ryan said “alarm bells” started ringing when he received an email from Xbox boss Phil Spencer, which stated it would continue to support Overwatch on PlayStation platforms but not its successor Overwatch 2. “It was not a meaningful list,” he claimed. “This list represented a particular selection of older titles that would remain on PlayStation.”