Game News Call of Duty: Sony opposes the takeover of Activision by Microsoft, Xbox responds
You know it necessarily, but Activision-Blizzard is about to be bought by Microsoft for the tidy sum of almost 70 billion dollars. Sony, for its part, is not particularly delighted.
Sony says no
As you must have heard, Activision-Blizzard and all its franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, Crash and others will pass into the fold of Microsoft. Nevertheless, the purchase has not yet been finalized and the various regulatory bodies are still studying the takeoverso as to avoid a monopoly which would unbalance the market. In Brazil, this organization is called CADE and Sony sent them a file last month to oppose this acquisition.
One of the main arguments? The arrival of Call of Duty under the control of Xbox. Sony being a faithful partner of the saga which rolls over the stats every year with its phenomenal power, the Japanese manufacturer is simply afraid that the industry (and especially itself) will suffer from this takeover.
Call of Duty is so popular that it influences users’ console choice, and its community of loyal users is entrenched enough that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, they couldn’t match it.
Not so happy that his rival is filing such a complaint, Microsoft then split a 27-page file, also filed with CADE to counter Sony’s arguments.
Inevitably, it was to be expected that the Redmond firm would not go overboard. First of all, it seems good to point out that other publishers such as Ubisoft and Bandai Namco have approached CADE about the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, but which only Sony has taken hold of the Call of Duty argument.
Only one third party, Sony, presented opinions that were formally different from those of the applicants and the other third parties consulted by the General Secretariat. Sony stands alone in this finding and, curiously, even contradicts itself in its response to the letter, as will be detailed below.
And to continue his attack, Microsoft directly followed up on its best argument, the Xbox Game Pass.
Sony doesn’t want to see Call of Duty games on Game Pass from day one because it resents having to compete with Microsoft’s subscription service.
Sony’s public statements on subscription games and its response to the Secretary General’s letter are clear. Sony doesn’t want attractive subscription services to threaten its dominance in the digital console game distribution market.
In other words, Sony protests against the introduction of new monetization models capable of challenging its economic model.
Ouch. The fight is real and everyone defends (quite logically) their steak in an assumed war that has not been hidden for decades now. However, Microsoft allows itself to come back to Sony’s number 1 criticism in its file, namely how Call of Duty would be “a category of games on its own”. Something that Microsoft completely refutes in its response, taking Sony itself as an example.
By the way, Sony’s own PlayStation has an established base of brand-loyal gamers. Such a finding, however, does not lead to the conclusion that PlayStation – or any branded product with loyal consumers – is a separate market from all other consoles.
Coming to the extreme conclusion that Call of Duty is a “category of games on its own” is simply unjustifiable in a quantitative or qualitative analysis.
Call of Duty won’t be an Xbox exclusive
Finally, as if to justify itself one last time, Microsoft returned to the case of exclusives. Indeed, if Call of Duty becomes an Xbox exclusive, it could hurt Sony and even many other players in the video game sphere. But remember, a few months ago, the American giant said that would not be the case.
In its file at CADE, Microsoft returned to this desire to keep the multiplatform franchise. The company thus claimed that not having Call of Duty games on PlayStation would not make commercial sense. for this simple and good reason: it would only be profitable if enough people left their platform to come to Xbox, so as to make up for the money lost by not selling PlayStation copies. Which is obviously the case.
In short, the battle is raging and everyone will find arguments to protect their market share. To be continued in the next episode.