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Oops! Sony’s Confidential PlayStation Information Accidentally Made Public

Sony's accidental disclosure unveils Call of Duty's pivotal role in PlayStation's success

Sony PS6 Launch

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), in an unexpected twist, accidentally exposed some deeply confidential facts regarding its PlayStation operations. This unforeseen incident occurred while sharing information as a part of the court proceedings between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), offering an insight into Sony’s considerable spending on mega-hits like The Last of Us Part 2 and Horizon Forbidden West. However, what really captured everyone’s attention was the critical role Activision’s Call of Duty franchise plays in Sony’s business strategy.

The information, initially concealed by SIE using pen strokes, unfortunately, remained partly visible when the documents were digitized and published. Once this misstep was detected, the documents were swiftly removed from public access, as reported by The Verge.

One such document presented by SIE’s head honcho, Jim Ryan, to the FTC aimed to thwart Microsoft’s intended acquisition of Activision Blizzard. It underscored the extraordinary engagement of PlayStation users with the Call of Duty franchise. The document indicated that in 2021, more than an estimated 14 million users dedicated over 30% of their gaming time to Call of Duty. Additionally, more than 6 million gamers reportedly spent over 70% of their time on the game, with around 1 million gamers playing Call of Duty exclusively. The average Call of Duty player spent an estimated 116 hours annually, with the most dedicated players spending nearly 296 hours on the game.

Sony’s strong connection to the Call of Duty franchise extends beyond user engagement. It has been reported that in 2021, PlayStation users purchased over $1 billion worth of Call of Duty software. This lucrative relationship was further underscored by another detail from Sony’s improperly redacted document. It hinted at Call of Duty games generating a staggering $800 million for PlayStation in the U.S. alone in 2021, while potentially contributing $1.5 billion on a global scale.

The financial picture becomes even more significant when factoring in the average yearly expenditure of Call of Duty players on PlayStation platforms. This includes hardware, accessories, subscriptions, and services, which The Verge speculates could amount to between $13.9 and $15.9 billion annually.

Furthermore, the document also revealed Sony’s current marketing agreement with Activision will conclude with the release of one last Call of Duty game in late 2023. The next installment in this blockbuster series is rumored to be an extension of the previous year’s Modern Warfare 2, developed by Sledgehammer Games.

Sony had previously raised concerns about Microsoft releasing inferior versions of future Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles should it successfully acquire Activision – a claim that Microsoft has categorically denied.

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