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Did EA skip Sony’s PlayStation 4 show because it struck a deal for the Xbox 720?

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Sony brought out the metaphorical big guns for its PlayStation 4 unveiling last week. The biggest of these was not one, but two major appearances on stage for Activision Blizzard products. With console editions of Blizzard’s Diablo 3, the first in-house developed Blizzard console game since the mid-‘90s, and exclusive content for Bungie and Activision’s Destiny on PS4, it seems that the days of Sony coming second to Microsoft—Call of Duty has routinely gotten timed-exclusive content on Xbox 360—are over. Where, however, was Activision’s biggest competitor, Electronic Arts? EA has bolstered Sony with the same sort of exclusive content for years, with platform-first content for Battlefield 3 and PS3-only content for games like Dead Space 2.

According to CVG, EA didn’t put in an appearance at Sony’s press conference because it struck a major content deal with Microsoft that will bring exclusive content of some type to the Xbox 720.

Two separate sources told the website that Electronic Arts and Microsoft have struck a deal very similar to the deal that Microsoft has enjoyed with Activision on the Call of Duty series. This would mean some content, like multiplayer maps and other downloadable content, would be available on Microsoft’s new console first. Whether that’s for Battlefield 4, Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, Mass Effect 4, or any of EA’s other announced next-gen projects is up in the air.

EA is, unsurprisingly, playing coy in regards to its plans for the PS4 and Xbox 720. The publisher gave a presentation at Morgan Stanley’s Tech, Media, & Telecom Conference on Tuesday and expressed a lot of enthusiasm for Sony’s new machine.

“At the end of the day, we’re very excited about Sony’s platform,” said CFO Blake Jorgensen, “We feel there’s a huge opportunity there. The technical power on the platform is going to allow us to do a substantial amount of things that have never been done before. I have seen the new Battlefield, and it is just stunning.”

Why not show this stunning game at Sony’s show, though?

“It was more about timing of our own slate as well as trying to maintain a good balance of power with all the parties out there and choosing when to unveil certain pieces of software.”

Translation from executive speak: Sony brought on Activision, our chief competitor, to discuss two separate exclusive products. We’re going to do something similar for Microsoft.

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