Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard recently hit a major stumbling block when the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block the deal, and it appears Sony will be heavily involved in the lawsuit, as has been the case with every step of this process. In fact, according to a court filing obtained by Video Games Chronicle, Microsoft has subpoenaed Sony in an attempt to obtain details about their future game pipeline.
The official legal filing states that “negotiations between [Sony Interactive Entertainment] and Microsoft as to the scope of SIE’s production and a discovery schedule are ongoing” with Sony requesting an extension to either respond or present a reason for quashing the request. The subpoena was issued on January 17, and Microsoft requested a response by January 20, but it appears they have agreed to the extension. Sony has been given until January 27 to respond.
Much of the legal wrangling between Microsoft and Sony over the Activision Blizzard acquisition has focused on whether or not the Call of Duty franchise is truly essential.
As a result, Sony has argued that the PlayStation brand can’t stand on its own without Call of Duty, while Microsoft has argued that Call of Duty isn’t that important, despite offering $69 billion for it. If Microsoft could point to a robust PlayStation games pipeline, particularly one that includes other first-person shooter and/or live service games, Sony’s case would suffer.