Sony says Call of Duty is essential, Xbox disagrees

A man aims a large military rifle while standing in a cloud of dust.

picture: activity

Microsoft argues to downplay the potential impact of the attempted acquisition of Activision on various international regulators call of Duty The publisher, on which it spends billions of dollars, doesn’t actually produce games that could be described as “must-haves”. Meanwhile, Sony is pushing back and explaining that call of Duty Games are “essential” and even influence some people’s console purchasing decisions.

Ever since Microsoft announced it would buy Activision Blizzard Back in January of this year, the company spent months touring the world tussling with lawmakers and regulators to show why this deal is perfectly fine and not bad for the industry. One way the Xbox company does this is by arguing that Activision Blizzard doesn’t release games so big and unique that the acquisition would stifle competition from other game companies, stores, or console makers.

An example of this tactic can be found in a report by the The New Zealand Trade Commission was released in June. In the document, Microsoft claimed that there is “nothing unique about the video games developed and published by Activision” — a company on which it spends nearly $70 billion — further adding that none of the games, including the military shooter franchise call of Dutyare “must have” games for any competing gaming company or distributor.

Continue reading: Everything that happened in the Activision Blizzard lawsuit

As you’d expect, not everyone agrees with Microsoft’s claim that owning one of the biggest video game franchises in the world won’t give Xbox an advantage over the competition. Sony in particular has resisted the proposed deal between Xbox and Activision in new legal documents from Brazil.

As reported by VGC and users on ResetEra, Sony’s responses to Brazilian government questions about the Microsoft/Activision deal have been published online, showing the PlayStation company believes call of Duty is an “essential” AAA game that could help sell more consoles for whoever controls it.

According to a 2019 study, “The Importance of call of Duty to entertainment in general is indescribable.’ The brand was the only video game IP to make the top 10 of all entertainment brands among fans, rivaling powerhouses such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Lord of the rings.

call of Duty is so popular that it influences users’ choice of console, and its community of loyal users is so ingrained that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, it wouldn’t be able to to compete with him.

Neither Microsoft’s response nor Sony’s rejection should come as a surprise. When buying a company as large as Activision, it makes sense to downplay how big or influential the company actually is when talking to regulators or government officials, since those folks could give Xbox a headache or even derail the deal altogether.

And of course Sony doesn’t want to lose call of Duty, a game that regularly tops the best-selling games on the PlayStation charts every year. Sure, Microsoft signaled that call of Duty will remain a multiplatform franchise but contractual it is reported that after three games, call of Duty could leave PlayStation and become an exclusive console for Xbox. So it makes sense that Sony is trying to highlight how important the long-running FPS series is to PlayStation and the video game industry.

Like other regulatory groups and more governments continue or begin nudge and nudge the Activision-Blizzard dealit’s likely that we’ll continue to see Microsoft downplay the company’s size and scope while Xbox’s competitors do the exact opposite in a bid to halt what could be one of the biggest examples of video game consolidation we’ve seen have seen so far. Sony says Call of Duty is essential, Xbox disagrees

Curtis Crabtree

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