Leak Confirms Sony Fears Activision Merger; Expects $1.5 Billion Annual Loss

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"Sony's Pillars Are Dated & Behind Competition"

Story Highlights
  • PlayStation is going through a major wave of leaks after Insomniac Games was compromised.
  • While internal documents from PlayStation claimed it would be fine after the Activision merger, the leaks highlight signs of fear.
  • The company has admitted its core business is outdated.

The Activision Blizzard merger saga that saw PlayStation striving to stop this deal is finally behind us, or so we thought.

While Microsoft is now the undeniable owner of this massive publisher, a ransomware attack on Insomniac Games has brought up this acquisition again. According to internal slides, PlayStation considers the merger a major threat to its business.

Why it matters: There was a lot of debate about the eventual impact of this merger on the gaming industry, and internal slides elaborate on Sony’s outlook.

In these slides, Sony acknowledged that Microsoft is set to become a massive gaming business thanks to Activision Blizzard.

This publisher has everything that Sony is currently striving for. A strong live service presence, mobile games, and established annual IPs that are already guaranteed for success even before release.

On the other hand, PlayStation is struggling to achieve its live service goals, with Naughty Dog recently canceling The Last of Us Online. Sony fears the acquisition may lead to a major console shift, with users moving to Xbox around 2027.

The merger is also a threat to PS Plus since Game Pass will soon begin to offer Call of Duty at launch. Sony states that this could lead to losses of around $1.5 billion each year. Most surprising, however, is the company admitting its outdated model.

The slide states:

“Sony’s pillars are already dated and behind the competition.”

This likely refers to the approach of selling exclusive games with big production budgets at a time when live service is the most profitable approach for the industry.

Despite Sony’s live service focus, exclusives like Spider-Man 2 are still leading headlines, selling over 2.5 million units on day one. Still, this model is clearly not sustainable on its own if PlayStation is admitting it is behind everyone else.

Sony PlayStation Studios

PlayStation and Xbox signed a timed deal for Call of Duty in October. However, the terms of this contract do not guarantee the game on this platform forever, and this is where Sony’s worries likely stem from.

If Call of Duty goes exclusive eventually, Sony needs to be prepared.

The gaming giant is ready to take the steps needed for this shift, but the transition has been far from smooth. Premier live service studio Bungie is struggling, and other GAAS projects like Deviation Games’ title have been canceled.

Therefore, Sony has a long way to go before it can completely revamp its approach after it built itself into a company with a strong lineup of narrative-heavy games.

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