There are many ways to portray Microsoft as a mustache-twirling villain, but these mostly relate to Redditor rants or wild-eyed YouTuber video essays, not a big company. That said, by February, recent documents (with redactions) filed with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority were released showing Sony a host of paranoid hypothetical ways Microsoft could circumvent any deal or access PlayStation call of Duty Franchise.
“Microsoft may release a PlayStation version of call of Duty where bugs and errors appear only in the last level of the game or after later updates. Even if such degradations could be spotted quickly, any remedy would likely come too late, and by that time the gaming community would have lost faith in PlayStation as a go-to place to play call of Duty. […] If it became known that the game was performing worse on PlayStation than on Xbox, call of Duty Gamers might decide to switch to Xbox for fear of playing their favorite game in a second-tier or less competitive venue.”
Other parts of the document suggest that Microsoft “would have an incentive to support and prioritize development of the Xbox version of the game, e.g. by using its best engineers and more of its resources,” that Microsoft would not invest money or time in the PlayStation console’s multiplayer, and that Microsoft would ignore PlayStation-specific features such as haptic triggers on the console’s DualSense controller.
Microsoft refuted this, citing a section of its response to the CMA and a statement, both of which “require a guarantee of parity between Xbox and PlayStation in accessing call of Duty‘ and honor all legally binding commitments to keep the franchise available to as many players as possible.
Readers will recall that Microsoft’s billion-dollar acquisition of Activision-Blizzard was muddled by advancing in several major global markets, fueled by concerns that Microsoft will wipe out competition more generally and hurt the company call of Duty IP particularly with exclusivity deals, despite repeated insistence from Microsoft that Activision games remain cross-platform.
https://massivelyop.com/2023/03/09/sony-legal-docs-suggest-hypothetical-ways-microsoft-could-hurt-call-of-duty-on-playstation-consoles/ Sony legal documents suggest hypothetical ways Microsoft could harm Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles