Since Microsoft announced the purchase of Activision-Blizzard and King, discourse has effectively run its course. At first, we did not know what to really expect when it came to the nuance of this deal, and now that we inch ever so close to the completion of this insanely expensive acquisition, Jim Ryan is doing all he can to stifle the deal. This is not something unique or special by any means. Leveraging various tactics or developing mutual agreements could have gone a long way, but instead Jim Ryan has gone full unhinged, and it is embarrassing.
To be brief, Microsoft announced an acquisition of Activision-Blizzard and King on January 18th, 2022 (which feels like an eternity ago). Since then, it has been a tumultuous rollercoaster ride with various organizations such as the SEC taking a magnifying glass to the deal. Since this is such a big case, examination by various global organizations must occur. Aside from the U.S., Brazil has no qualms about the deal while the UK CMA is in a bit of a standstill. This has led to Jim Ryan showing his full colors, and it makes the Sony brand seem incredibly weak even though they are quite the opposite.
Everything comes down to Call of Duty’s future after Microsoft’s acquisition, which has been another rollercoaster ride, turning this entire charade into a Six Flags theme park of problems. Ryan expressed his concern, stating that Sony needs the title to succeed within the space, which made Microsoft claim that they are not the dominant console and would not change much of the digital landscape by any means.
Where things get interesting is the demands that Sony wants when it comes to this deal, treating the acquisition as more of a hostage negotiation at this point. According to Forbes, Sony does not want Microsoft to offer extra content, hardware-based performance enhancements, or Game Pass incentives, which is just another quarter into Sony’s hypocrisy jar. Currently, Sony has gained exclusive content for Call of Duty that is not available on the Xbox or PC.
This is not the first thing that Sony has done that makes them seem problematic. When it comes to delivering cross-generation game saves, Sony never had a seamless way to bring your files over. Their Stars Rewards program seems to be lacking in all fronts, and their confusing (and non-sensical) PlayStation Plus program does them no favors. Sony also increased the price of the PlayStation 5 console in certain markets by upwards of $50 to meet the effects of inflation, while other manufacturers did not (aside from Meta’s Oculus Quest VR headset).
There also happened to be the great Horizon Forbidden West debacle, which removed the free upgrade option that enabled players to transfer their PlayStation 4 copy to the PlayStation 5 version for no additional fee. The reason behind the removal was due to the delay, which pushed Horizon Forbidden West out of Sony’s “free upgrade” initiative timeframe. Due to the reaction of players across social media, Sony eventually made do on their promise, but it took an awful lot of pressure to make it happen.
I will also throw in the lack of upgrades for certain PlayStation Plus games to current-gen iterations. If you received Final Fantasy 7 Remake through the PlayStation Plus program, you could not upgrade the title to the enhanced PlayStation 5 version without paying up for it, adding another demerit on Sony. I’ll also highlight the fact that Sony has an awful return policy for their digital games while also promoting a digital-only system. Furthermore, we can’t easily forget how Sony initially treated customers who purchased The Last of Us Remake Firefly Edition so quickly.
After so many issues and problems that I have witnessed within the last two years, I am asking myself, yet again, if Sony even cares about the gamers in the first place despite delivering amazing titles. God of War, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us are all fantastic titles that stand the test of time. Returnal highlighted Hosemarque, along with Sony’s faith in indie studios. While not as grandiose as Microsoft’s acquisitions, Sony has invested a ton of money into purchasing Bungie and other studios while offering their own promise of creating more titles. Anytime I see Sony in the headlines, I often wonder if I am dealing with Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, especially when Jim Ryan released an email telling their staff to respect each other’s opinions on the overturning of Roe Vs Wade, ultimately dismissing the results in favor to speak about his cats’ birthdays.
I am not going to pretend that every studio or company is free from fault, but Microsoft and Nintendo do not have this level of problems when it comes to this generation of gaming. They both have their issues, yes, but you do not see either company raising prices or adding stipulations to their “free” games. There are different versions of Game Pass, but none of them lock you out of content or block features; it is as straightforward and simple as it could be.
With Jim Ryan at the helm of Sony’s PlayStation brand, I do not feel as if this ship is coasting along the ocean as smoothly as it could be. Times are changing, and Sony has not really done their best to keep up with the winds of change, lowering sails at the incorrect times. They could do better, and I want them to do better, speaking as a PlayStation fan of the better part of almost three decades now. No matter how great the titles are, I still feel like Sony does not care, and until that feeling is engrossed within the community at large, they never really have to.
The thing is, Sony has never cared. The fan base supports them in such an ignorant diehard matter, most of the issues always got pushed aside and ignored. It’s only because of Jim Ryan taking over in 2019 and his public/social media presence that you can cleary see how they operate. Sony is the epitome of corporate greed, skylighting as a company that ‘cares’ for its consumer.
Incredible, everything you said is wrong. Cheers