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[WSJ] Sony Expects Microsoft to Keep Activision's Existing Contractual Agreements

Maxwell Jacob Friedman

leads to fear. Fear leads to xbox.
lol, just because it's long form doesnt mean it makes sense

"My guess is that the co-marketing deal is through the end of the generation or some similar term and Sony knows that between the 12-18 month review and approval process and the existing co-marketing deal that CoD being exclusive to Xbox isn't a PS5 problem, its a PS6 problem, i.e. half a decade down the road."

The delusion.
Contracts cant exist longer than a four year period with COD still, whose to say Sony recently didnt reinvest in a new one that takes it another 4 years or so, console generations only last what 5-8 years tops, could have some merit to it. Especiallg when people go "lulz like MS would ever go along with existing contracts"
 

ChiefDada

Member
This isn't Sony panicking. This is Sony being confident. Sony has never been the type to talk much.


Not my post however this actually makes sense and comes from someone who actually knows what they are saying, disregardinf fanboyism

"
Thats a pretty specifically worded statement that if it came from Sony directly (which the WSJ claims) was likely vetted by legal and PR teams before being made. They didn't reference a contractual agreement to blow smoke, as doing so is investor fraud and one of the few white collar crimes actually enforced (because executives can lie to you and me but they sure as fuck can't lie to the investor class).

My guess is that the co-marketing deal is through the end of the generation or some similar term and Sony knows that between the 12-18 month review and approval process and the existing co-marketing deal that CoD being exclusive to Xbox isn't a PS5 problem, its a PS6 problem, i.e. half a decade down the road.

Potentially the same for Overwatch. Blizzard was selling franchise licenses to speculative owners and there is a high likelihood those speculators had contractual language ensuring a broad base for the IP. The market value of an e-sports franchise that isn't playable by the current market leader's audience isn't going to be of the same net value as it was when universally multi-platform.


Anti-trust isn't just about top line market share. A lot of older industries are regulated by regions, market segments, etc.. My company was denied purchase of a competing facility owned by the national market leader that runs entirely thanks to a cooperative deal we have in place, with 90% of its "product" being from our front line and into our end facilities because we were far and away the market leader in the county (not state, though we're that too, just not by as much) for those services.

If MS catches a savvy and progressive assessment team they could pretty easily make a worthwhile case that Microsoft adding Call of Duty and Overwatch to Halo, DOOM, and Gears would provide a significant market advantage in online/competitive shooter space specifically and in the FPS genre at large, both significant segments of the market.

Thats what anti-trust really amounts to. Does the team catching this at the FTC have the perspicacity to split these hairs, the desire to do so, and if so does the argument hold merit enough for a judge to agree.

If the FTC team on this decide to go after it they'd be able to make some real lop sided looking pie charts within specific segments of the VG industry. They probably won't as the FTC are largely a bunch of old heads who don't get IP power at all, but who knows, Biden's admin claims they're turning things around.


Depends on the terms. For something like Activision and CoD, where CoD is basically all they currently make under the main Activision banner and they have an extensive co-marketing deal Sony could pretty easily:
1. let MS violate the terms.
2. see a CoD release as an Xbox exclusive despite existing contract requirements being violated.
3. argue that damages caused irreparable harm to the Sony brand.
4. require that future CoD releases would only increase the harm and therefore a stay on all future CoD releases is required.
5. Literally make up a mythological number for damages that MS would then be obligated to pay.
6. MS can then either pay Sony billions and go back to honoring the contract or appeal/challenge repeatedly, likely ultimately still lose, and not get to make any money off CoD until its resolved.

We've had multi-billion dollar copyright infringement cases in recent history for the smartphone sector (Samsung caught quite a few specifically) over things with less demonstrable damage than pulling the #1 selling game off a platform despite a contract requiring the exact opposite.

But MS' executives would never intentionally violate a contract like that because while they wouldn't "go to jail" they would massively fuck up the operations of the trillion dollar company and a multi-billion dollar division within it that they've been entrusted with running.

And because they aren't absolute fucking morons."

Thank you. Some of us actually work in these related fields for a living. But nooooo, console warriors know best, right?
 

ACESHIGH

Member
I would love if they could "Trade Hostages" if you will. I give you call of Duty if you give me Bloodborne, Last Guardian, Shadow of the Collosus and more
 

Concern

Member
This is one future outcome imo - MS and Sony bartering exclusives - two more years of COD if Death Stranding 2 and FFV Part 1 come to Xbox


Tbh in the end it looks like such a blur for the gaming industry with garbage like fb, Google, and Amazon trying to get involved.

Our best bet would be ms + sony against the others but its too early to tell what will happen. Only thing for sure is we're heading into a subscription heavy generation.
 

assurdum

Member
How is this funny? If you knew anything about contracts and what Sony has been making multiplayer wise you would not be laughing. Sony will be fine. They were fine in PS2 era, and even in PS3 era where XBOX was beating the shit out of them online wise they still did fine?

So go ahead with your knee jerk.
Xbox fanboy have like an orgasm this week for such news. If they can't sell more at least they can still steal multiplatform to Sony fans thanks to the good guy Phil who doesn't liked buy exclusive. Just studios.
 
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Papacheeks

Banned
So you're an insider too?

Ok can we get a mod here to verify this alt..... err I mean insider

You don't think Sony as a company internally doesn't look at numbers and how much games like COD bring in for them? They know how reliant some of their quarterly have been COD heavy and looking at best sold games for 2020/2021 being COD You don't think internally they have talks to have their own multiplayers so they dont have to pay so much for these deals?

Jade Redmond's new game is multiplayer based, Deviation games which came from ex Treyarch/COD devs is multiplayer, Twisted metal will be multiplayer, and Guerilla's new game is being designed by RAinbow Six siege lead.

On top of Faction multiplayer. SO again though COD is a huge and has been huge for sony financials, I don't think its the end of the world like you and many other knee jerk reactions make it out to be.
If you think Sony doesnt know how much they relied on contracts like cod/GTA your sadly mistaken. Why do you think PC is now a somewhat focus on releasing their games on?

You think thats just for older games from PS4 era? You think having Factions/ or new online game on PC with cross play with PS5/PS4 is not something they are going to focus on?
Already been leaked PSVR 2 is getting Half life Alyx and more than likely will be a launch title, and its been seen that PSVR 2 will interact with PC.


COD is not end of the world.

So please continue to LOL and make yourself look like a clown.
 
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Ezquimacore

Member
It doesn't make sense to make COD exclusive. It makes its money multiplatform. What I expect they will do is make some of the other titles they own exclusive, or appear on Xbox first. COD will continue to be day one on PlayStation, however they might want to slow the cadence or reduce the scope of the game. If not, then it's business as usual.

I hope people aren't forgetting MS are the ONLY console maker making games for all consoles already. This doesn't seem like a different situation.
Doesn't make sense, but MS has the money to not make sense. If you can play cod on PC, Xbox and every device out there with gamepass... I can see a future where COD is a platform to sell gamepass. After what they did with Bethesda, it's just a matter of time. Sony will have to accept gamepass/xcloud or just deal with it.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
 

MonarchJT

Banned
Wasn’t it already confirmed during the initial announcement that Microsoft would still keep Activision games multiplatform?
no. they said pretty much what they said about Bethesda games. And past the period of ongoing contracts is over.are exclusives .
 
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abcdrstuv

Member
At some point losing sales revenue is bad business and it hurts the status of the IP - multiplat COD with Xbox branding everywhere is free advertising (game marked XBox for Everyone) and makes Microsoft look generous. All kinds of stuff you can do with timed exclusivity and features too.

But with enormous Minecraft level IP, exclusivity takes more away from the property than it gives to Microsoft. You want COD to be an Xbox game everyone plays. Even Elder Scrolls 6… that’s a series like GTA with mainstream recognition, stature, a life of its own
 
Not my post however this actually makes sense and comes from someone who actually knows what they are saying, disregardinf fanboyism

"
Thats a pretty specifically worded statement that if it came from Sony directly (which the WSJ claims) was likely vetted by legal and PR teams before being made. They didn't reference a contractual agreement to blow smoke, as doing so is investor fraud and one of the few white collar crimes actually enforced (because executives can lie to you and me but they sure as fuck can't lie to the investor class).

My guess is that the co-marketing deal is through the end of the generation or some similar term and Sony knows that between the 12-18 month review and approval process and the existing co-marketing deal that CoD being exclusive to Xbox isn't a PS5 problem, its a PS6 problem, i.e. half a decade down the road.

Potentially the same for Overwatch. Blizzard was selling franchise licenses to speculative owners and there is a high likelihood those speculators had contractual language ensuring a broad base for the IP. The market value of an e-sports franchise that isn't playable by the current market leader's audience isn't going to be of the same net value as it was when universally multi-platform.


Anti-trust isn't just about top line market share. A lot of older industries are regulated by regions, market segments, etc.. My company was denied purchase of a competing facility owned by the national market leader that runs entirely thanks to a cooperative deal we have in place, with 90% of its "product" being from our front line and into our end facilities because we were far and away the market leader in the county (not state, though we're that too, just not by as much) for those services.

If MS catches a savvy and progressive assessment team they could pretty easily make a worthwhile case that Microsoft adding Call of Duty and Overwatch to Halo, DOOM, and Gears would provide a significant market advantage in online/competitive shooter space specifically and in the FPS genre at large, both significant segments of the market.

Thats what anti-trust really amounts to. Does the team catching this at the FTC have the perspicacity to split these hairs, the desire to do so, and if so does the argument hold merit enough for a judge to agree.

If the FTC team on this decide to go after it they'd be able to make some real lop sided looking pie charts within specific segments of the VG industry. They probably won't as the FTC are largely a bunch of old heads who don't get IP power at all, but who knows, Biden's admin claims they're turning things around.


Depends on the terms. For something like Activision and CoD, where CoD is basically all they currently make under the main Activision banner and they have an extensive co-marketing deal Sony could pretty easily:
1. let MS violate the terms.
2. see a CoD release as an Xbox exclusive despite existing contract requirements being violated.
3. argue that damages caused irreparable harm to the Sony brand.
4. require that future CoD releases would only increase the harm and therefore a stay on all future CoD releases is required.
5. Literally make up a mythological number for damages that MS would then be obligated to pay.
6. MS can then either pay Sony billions and go back to honoring the contract or appeal/challenge repeatedly, likely ultimately still lose, and not get to make any money off CoD until its resolved.

We've had multi-billion dollar copyright infringement cases in recent history for the smartphone sector (Samsung caught quite a few specifically) over things with less demonstrable damage than pulling the #1 selling game off a platform despite a contract requiring the exact opposite.

But MS' executives would never intentionally violate a contract like that because while they wouldn't "go to jail" they would massively fuck up the operations of the trillion dollar company and a multi-billion dollar division within it that they've been entrusted with running.

And because they aren't absolute fucking morons."
And what would happen if MS just cancels COD in 2023 and makes the same game again with a new name and calling it a new ip? They could easily advertise it in the last COD.
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
Well this is ultimately the question that needs to be answered.

Nobody outside of the deal (and sony) knows how many games/years the marketing and timed exclusive DLC deals cover.
It’s pretty well known among the COD community that the COD deal is done in four year cycles. It was last renewed in 2019 after the 2014-2018 cycle ended. Meaning that contract is still in effect until 2023. That’s all Sony is talking about here. There’s nothing else Activision makes that’s exclusive to Sony.
 

Concern

Member
You don't think Sony as a company internally doesn't look at numbers and how much games like COD bring in for them? They know how reliant some of their quarterly have been COD heavy and looking at best sold games for 2020/2021 being COD You don't think internally they have talks to have their own multiplayers so they dont have to pay so much for these deals?

Jade Redmond's new game is multiplayer based, Deviation games which came from ex Treyarch/COD devs is multiplayer, Twisted metal will be multiplayer, and Guerilla's new game is being designed by RAinbow Six siege lead.

On top of Faction multiplayer. SO again though COD is a huge and has been huge for sony financials, I don't think its the end of the world like you and many other knee jerk reactions make it out to be.
If you think Sony doesnt know how much they relied on contracts like cod/GTA your sadly mistaken. Why do you think PC is now a somewhat focus on releasing their games on?

You think thats just for older games from PS4 era? You think having Factions/ or new online game on PC with cross play with PS5/PS4 is not something they are going to focus on?
Already been leaked PSVR 2 is getting Half life Alyx and more than likely will be a launch title, and its been seen that PSVR 2 will interact with PC.


COD is not end of the world.

So please continue to LOL and make yourself look like a clown.


"You don't think, you don't think"

You're basically telling people to assume with you, besides what we already know officially.

Yet Phil can officially say something and he's a "liar" etc etc. But randoms on a forum know more and we're supposed to just go with it. Thats what's hilarious about these posts.

If you use facts over assumptions and guesses, there's a discussion to be had. But some of you rather live in a fantasy world.

Sony has relied on third party for mp and now they will have to get on the ball with their own offerings. I loved a bunch of Ps3 games and even played tf outta shadowfall but obviously it wasn't good enough for them to revisit apparently. I'd rather have Killzone over Horizon any day.

Factions 2 is the only mp game I'm looking forward to and that will probably be gaas with microtransactions. But thats ok cuz its Sony right?
 

assurdum

Member
Lmao so this is Jim’s response? He’s in Denial?

We are so fucked.
Man you really should do something for yourself. We are passed to obsessive posts in the past about ps5 hardware was not competitive enough because 36 CUs and not full RDNA2 as XSX and now it's all over because COD is MS exclusive. This level of insecurity starts to appear pathological, you really shouldn't give so much importance to such news if you go in panic mode every single time.
 
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Saaleh

Banned
All sony should do is focus on creating their own charming multiplayer FPS [market it reasonably in proportion to the quality/addictiveness]. With microsoft in charge the quality of cod will decrease just like halo because IF THEY EVER decide to make it a game pass game they are screwed. So this is a good sign for sony to stop depending on these third party FPS games. BattleField should take it as a chance to create a console exclusive sony / pc game with co design with sony teams to make something ground breaking, it is time to move on from these mediocre services. Sony should cover at least both types of FPS. Serious and arcade types + more . Don't bother buying these third party publishers, look for quality and unique and impressive stuff not these stupid decisions wasting billions on brands....
 
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Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
The deal won’t be closed before MW2.
The Activision/Sony contracts were for Call of Duty.
Modern Warfare is a completely different game in a different series it is NOT Call of Duty.....we promise
-Microsoft.
 

ckaneo

Member
All sony should do is focus on creating their own charming multiplayer FPS [market it reasonably in proportion to the quality/addictiveness]. With microsoft in charge the quality of cod will decrease just like halo because IF THEY EVER decide to make it a game pass game they are screwed. So this is a good sign for sony to stop depending on these third party FPS games. BattleField should take it as a chance to create a console exclusive sony / pc game with co design with sony teams to make something ground breaking, it is time to move on from these mediocre services. Sony should cover at least both types of FPS. Serious and arcade types + more . Don't bother buying these third party publishers, look for quality and unique and impressive stuff not these stupid decisions wasting billions on brands....
FPS shooter genre is oversaturated
 

SlimySnake

Member
Man you really should do something for yourself. We are passed to obsessive posts in the past about ps5 hardware was not a competitive enough because 36 CUs and not full RDNA2 as XSX and now it's all over because COD is now a MS exclusive. This level of insecurity starts to appear pathological, you shouldn't give so much importance to such stuff.
Why are you so obsessed with me? Discuss the topic or gtfo.
 

Saaleh

Banned
FPS shooter genre is oversaturated
It is because the quality of these FPS games is mediocre and they always playing it safe. They can bring back the charm of Killzone 2 / resistance 1 , take it to next level of seriousness with a lot of content and they got deviation and imagine if Dice decide to aim for quality co design like Bloodborne. Sony can do a lot without buying a publisher..
 
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ChiefDada

Member
So you're an insider too?

Ok can we get a mod here to verify this alt..... err I mean insider
I'm NOT an insider, don't work in the gaming industry. Work in finance and acquisitions aren't unique to gaming; the Microsoft/Acquisition is a HUGE deal and I have said so myself but if you think that Microsoft can afford to cancel COD contracts 2022-2023 then you are frighteningly mistaken. Because of the especially large investment and the Xbox platform's historically low contribution towards COD sales revenue (20%). It is a FACT that in the short-term, Microsoft needs Sony financial support more than Sony needs Microsoft, as it relates to COD. It is the reason why Microsoft purchased in the first place! It's long-term strategy, not next 2 years! If I'm not mistaken, this is the same or similar wording Sony used for Deathloop and Ghostwire contracts and they proceeded as planned; similar situation here. The best MSFT could hope for with COD, and what will likely happen is they just step into Activision shoes and collect the ~70% or whatever that has historically went to Activision. You can NOT afford to lose that revenue in hopes of having PS base switch to Xbox over the course of 1-2 years when the company you are trying to syphon from remains the Largest player in the market with significant influence. That is a pipe dream and Microsoft isn't thinking that way.
 

Clear

Gold Member
They said the same about Bethesda...is it really necessary such PR claim Sony? Good Lord we are back again to when gamers are considered idiots?

Not the same thing at all. The relevant comparison is with Minecraft.

Releasing games every 5 years or whatever Bethesda do is too intermittent a process to really be a factor in terms of a merger. However an ongoing franchise with yearly releases interspersed with constant monetization via a live service model can be seen as the entirety of the business.

From a legal/regulatory perspective its a hugely important distinction to make between access to standalone products and access to a formerly ongoing business enterprise.

Its funny really, basically the fanboy argument is that MS should deny Sony access in order to hurt their bottom line. Which is blatantly anti-competitive, and yet the regulatory bodies that oversee mergers and acquisitions in order to prevent such practices are supposed to not even consider this dimension!? C'mon, you can't have it both ways!
 

Papacheeks

Banned
"You don't think, you don't think"

You're basically telling people to assume with you, besides what we already know officially.

Yet Phil can officially say something and he's a "liar" etc etc. But randoms on a forum know more and we're supposed to just go with it. Thats what's hilarious about these posts.

If you use facts over assumptions and guesses, there's a discussion to be had. But some of you rather live in a fantasy world.

Sony has relied on third party for mp and now they will have to get on the ball with their own offerings. I loved a bunch of Ps3 games and even played tf outta shadowfall but obviously it wasn't good enough for them to revisit apparently. I'd rather have Killzone over Horizon any day.

Factions 2 is the only mp game I'm looking forward to and that will probably be gaas with microtransactions. But thats ok cuz its Sony right?

What are you talking about? The contracts literally were called into question in another thread where SOny has actually made a statement. There is information on their market deal with COD that it was re-uped in 2019 and their deals are for 4 years?

Everything in my previous post is true about Jade's new game which was early prototyped back when she was with Google/Stadia, GG is working on a shooter of sorts with lead designer from Rainbow six siege go look it up. Factions has been in the works for a while and expanded we know this from literally official news.

You and others are "LOL" at the fact your think Sony doesn't know how reliant they are and have been on games like COD? You also think that Sony losing a game like this is the end of them? When history has shown they were fine without these games. Just means they will rely on other revenue streams and double down like they have on more internal revenue similar to Nintendo.

The knee jerk threads that are getting made are what they are, reactions.

Do I think SOny will react? In a sense yes. But do I think they are going to knee jerk react on something that wasn't already in play and being worked on? No.
 

Lupin25

Member
Well, what is the existing contract(s) between Sony & Activision?

Could there have been some forethought by Sony ensuring the game remain multiplatform (for an extended period of time)?

Until that’s known, anyone acting confident about themselves looks ridiculous. There could be literally any number of stipulations on Sony’s part within.
 
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GHG

Member
It’s pretty well known among the COD community that the COD deal is done in four year cycles. It was last renewed in 2019 after the 2014-2018 cycle ended. Meaning that contract is still in effect until 2023. That’s all Sony is talking about here. There’s nothing else Activision makes that’s exclusive to Sony.

You got a source for the four year thing? Can't find anything on it.
 

MonarchJT

Banned
Man you really should do something for yourself. We are passed to obsessive posts in the past about ps5 hardware was not competitive enough because 36 CUs and not full RDNA2 as XSX and now it's all over because COD is MS exclusive. This level of insecurity starts to appear pathological, you really shouldn't give so much importance to such news if you go in panic mode every single time.
Assurdum way:

 

ChiefDada

Member
As expected. Microsoft will honor the contracts already made. After that, all bets are off. You dont pay 70 billion to perpetually help out a competing platform.

You don't spend $70 billion to cut off 80% of the revenue from the IP that mainly drove that value to $70 billion in the first place.

You don't spend $70 billion to play chicken with the largest gaming publisher in the world only to tell your investors in a subsequent conference call that nearly an entire year's worth of COMPANY WIDE (all of Microsoft's) operating cash flows is completely wiped out because we want Sony to blink first and it will happen very soon! Just you wait!
 
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