Activision Blizzard’s purchase by Microsoft is getting closer, but Sony has expressed worries about how the merger may impact its PlayStation business while the two firms wait for regulatory permission.
Sony’s views regarding the impending acquisition are contained in a new document that was released this week by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
One of Sony’s worries is that Microsoft will try to ruin upcoming Call of Duty games on PlayStation platforms.
Sony opposes Microsoft owning the Call of Duty brand.
The relevant section of the paper outlining Microsoft’s prospective master plan is as follows:
For instance, Microsoft may release a Call of Duty PlayStation version in which problems and mistakes don’t show up until subsequent updates or the game’s final level.
Even if such deteriorations were quickly discovered, any cure would probably be implemented too late, at which point the gaming community would no longer regard the PlayStation as the go-to platform for playing Call of Duty.
In fact, Modern Warfare II attests that Call of Duty is often bought within the first few weeks after its release. Call of Duty players might take action if it is discovered that the PlayStation version of the game ran worse than the Xbox
Although Sony’s opposition to Microsoft owning one of the all-time best-selling video game brands isn’t particularly shocking, the business has concocted an elaborate scheme.
Microsoft increasing the cost of Call of Duty on PlayStation, lowering the quality of Call of Duty games to neglect PlayStation-specific features (such as DualSense haptics), or making Call of Duty an Xbox Game Pass-only title are some of Sony’s other concerns.
Regardless of whether any of these worries are valid, they highlight how crucial the Call of Duty franchise is to both platforms.
Microsoft has responded to Sony’s remarks. According to a statement from Microsoft (reported by Eurogamer),
We have proposed measures that address the CMA’s concerns and boost the deal’s advantages for UK users and game developers since it announced its preliminary findings.
They include legally enforceable obligations to ensure that Call of Duty is made available to at least 150 million more players on other consoles and cloud streaming devices after the acquisition closes, as well as a guarantee that Xbox and PlayStation will have equal access to the game.