As Microsoft faces deeper scrutiny from regulators over its deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, there’s one party that seems to be enjoying picking its ribs at all times: Sony.
Every time a new regulatory action is mentioned, Sony is quick to file a common complaint. Namely, they are concerned about Microsoft gaining control of Call of Duty, one of the biggest IPs in gaming, though their arguments are somewhat muddled, given their own history of exclusivity and exclusive content.
Sony has just given a new statement on the news that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) would be delving further into the takeover deal:
“By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have significant negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry,” Sony said in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz. “We want to ensure that PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.”
At this point, Microsoft seems to be clearly upset with Sony’s protests, with Phil Spencer saying that Microsoft signed a deal with Sony for additional years to keep Call of Duty on the platform (a deal that Sony’s Jim Ryan says isn’t the right thing to do). good enough), and they’ve sworn Call of Duty isn’t going anywhere on PlayStation, even if Microsoft offers a compelling alternative by releasing it on Xbox Game Pass.
You can feel his frustration in his new statement, replying to Sony:
“It makes no business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its position as the leading console in the market.”
This has always been the theory, that Microsoft will likely treat Call of Duty as its Minecraft takeover, and let the franchise continue to exist and make a profit on all platforms, even on a rival like PlayStation. As a publisher, that would mean Sony is paying Microsoft directly, after all.
However, you they can make the argument that if PlayStation is a “market leader”, why doesn’t Microsoft release Starfield there? I guess it’s a new IP, but will Microsoft release future DOOM games, Wolfenstein games, Elder Scrolls games on PlayStation, the market leader? So far, it seems like we’re just talking about Call of Duty, and maybe other Blizzard games like Overwatch and Diablo. So Microsoft is also guilty of being a bit misleading here.
However, Sony’s complaints just… don’t resonate. It’s hard to allow them to be so whiny when they’ve been dominating the console sales space for a generation and a half, and to somehow believe that Call of Duty itself is a breakout title for them, when that series has more third-party competition than it does. never, plus Microsoft has said fifty different ways it will stay on PlayStation indefinitely.
I don’t think either side is completely off the hook for all this back and forth, but it’s especially hard to take Sony’s Call of Duty arguments seriously, and I understand why Microsoft is becoming increasingly exasperated with their rejection, which it is so clearly self-sufficient. serving I don’t know how you can see it any other way. In the end, I doubt it will destroy the deal, and we’ll see if Microsoft keeps its word for years to come.