PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan ‘Flew To Brussels’ To Voice Concerns To EU Over Xbox’s Activision Deal

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reportedly flew to Brussels last month to meet with European Union regulators currently scrutinizing Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The visit was first reported by Dealreporter sources (paywalled). Video Game Chronicle reports: As has been widely publicized in recent weeks, PlayStation’s concerns over the deal are around the future release arrangements for the Call of Duty series — which is regularly PlayStation’s annual best-seller — and whether it will be pulled from their platforms. Google is also said to have voiced its concerns to EU regulators, according to the same sources.

Last month, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft had committed to making Call of Duty available on PlayStation for “several more years” after Sony’s current marketing deal with Activision expires. However, SIE CEO Ryan, who is reportedly seeking access to future Call of Duty games on equal terms and in perpetuity, responded publicly by calling Microsoft’s proposal for keeping the series on PlayStation consoles “inadequate on many levels.” “By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry,” Sony claimed. “We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.”

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Ex-Sony CEO Nobuyuki Idei Who Led Firm’s Digital Push, Dies At 84

Sony said Tuesday that Nobuyuki Idei, its former chairman and CEO who led the Japanese giant’s push into the digital network business, has died of liver failure. He was 84. Kyodo News reports: In addition to enhancing Sony’s presence in the digital and communications fields, he also focused on the entertainment business, such as movies, music and game consoles, laying the foundation for its current operations. Idei joined Sony in 1960, becoming president in 1995 and CEO in 1998. He served as both chairman and chief executive from 2000 to 2005. He stepped down as chairman and CEO amid lackluster sales in its appliance business, making headlines for naming Howard Stringer as his successor at a time when it was still rare for a Japanese company to be led by a non-Japanese CEO. Idei also contributed to the advancement of the internet environment in Japan, having been appointed to head the government’s IT strategy council in 2000. […]

Under Idei’s tenure as CEO, the conglomerate launched its Vaio-brand personal computers and domestic internet service provider So-net. It also ventured into online-based banking services and the nonlife insurance business. But after its earlier success with sales of bulky CRT televisions, Sony was slow to transition to flat screens and was outpaced amid intense competition with South Korean and other overseas rival manufacturers. Company stocks plunged in 2003 in what was referred to as the “Sony shock,” and sluggish growth for much of the following decade led Sony to focus on corporate restructuring initiatives.

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