There's been a narrative for some time now that PlayStation was worried about Microsoft pulling Activision's blockbuster Call of Duty away from its own market.
However, in a Microsoft FTC trial update, a private email from PlayStation boss Jim Ryan to former SCEE president Chris Deering, quoted during the hearing, reveals the gaming division head seemingly had no real concerns about the multiplayer-driven FPS series becoming exclusive.
In the email, which was dated January 20th, 2022, Ryan mentioned how the deal wasn't about "exclusivity" and he felt Microsoft was "thinking bigger than that". He then went on to suggest that Call of Duty would likely remain on PlayStation for years to come:
Jim Ryan: “It is not an exclusivity play at all. They’re thinking bigger than that and they have the cash to make moves like this. I’ve spent a fair amount of time with [Phil] Spencer and Bobby [Kotick] and I’m pretty sure we will continue to see Call of Duty on PlayStation for years to come."
"We have some good stuff cooking. I’m not complacent, I’d rather this didn’t happen, but we’ll be OK, we’ll be more than OK." via The Verge
This response from Jim admittedly comes as a bit of a revelation, considering how he's previously and publicly raised concerns about the Call of Duty series under the ownership of Microsoft - going as far as saying Xbox could cause "serious damage" to the PlayStation brand if releases weren't delivered at the existing high standards.
Previous reports suggest Sony refused to sign Xbox's 10-year Call of Duty offer, even though Microsoft highlighted how it was actually "a better deal for Sony", extending its contract with the franchise beyond 2024.
Here's what Microsoft had to say in a statement to Pure Xbox following day one of the FTC hearing:
"Today showed Sony has known all along we’ll stand by our promise to keep games on its platform and made clear its work to lobby against the deal is only to protect its dominant position in the market."