According to reports, Sony has expressed concerns over Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard and its impact on the PlayStation versions of Call of Duty. Sony has submitted documents to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, outlining the risks of Microsoft’s potential actions, which could undermine the popularity of Call of Duty on PlayStation.
Sony has suggested that Microsoft may take several measures to make the PlayStation version of Call of Duty less attractive to players. These measures may include increasing the price of the games, prioritizing development of the Xbox version, or releasing a faulty version of the game on PlayStation. Sony also expressed concerns about the possibility of Microsoft releasing a PlayStation version of Call of Duty with bugs and errors that only emerge in the final level or after later updates. Sony argued that even if such issues were quickly detected, it may be too late, causing a loss of confidence in PlayStation as the preferred platform to play Call of Duty.
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Sony further added that if the acquisition were to go ahead, there is a possibility that Microsoft would intentionally let Call of Duty fail on PlayStation, which could result in players switching to Xbox due to concerns over playing on a less competitive platform. Additionally, Sony believes that Microsoft would receive a greater revenue share for its content compared to if Activision remained independent. Sony has also expressed concerns over the inability to monitor the quality of Call of Duty on PlayStation and ensure that it receives the same level of development resources as the Xbox version.
The battle continues
Since the announcement of the Activision Blizzard merger, Call of Duty has been a crucial battleground between PlayStation and Xbox. While Xbox offered PlayStation a three-month extension for existing contracts, PlayStation’s CEO Jim Ryan found the offer insufficient. Xbox’s Phil Spencer, on the other hand, has maintained that Call of Duty will continue to be available on Xbox as long as PlayStation exists.
In a recent development, Microsoft has signed a 10-year agreement to release Call of Duty games on Nintendo consoles simultaneously with Xbox, along with a full feature set. Microsoft has also signed another 10-year agreement to bring its PC games to Nvidia’s GeForce Now. Although it remains unclear if these measures will be enough to secure approval, rumors suggest that EU regulators are set to approve the merger.