- When Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard, it will also acquire the CoD franchise
- Sony says this will cause competitiveness problems in the gaming market
- The Japanese company submitted its argument against the merger
Sony wants to put a spanner in the works of the deal of Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard, saying this will make it impossible to compete against the CoD franchise in the gaming market.
Sony Says CoD’s Competitors Cannot Compete
Sony and Microsoft have been business rivals for decades. The latter’s announcement that it wants to buy Activision Blizzard in early 2022 severely hurt Sony’s stock. Considering Microsoft’s proposed deal to acquire Activision Blizzard is worth $69 billion, it’s going to be by far the biggest technology merger the gaming industry has ever seen. Naturally, the deal is subject to regulatory actions by many governments to insure the lack of monopolization of a specific market.
EU regulatory bodies have been investigating the deal closely to catch any potential infringements. Sony jumped at the opportunity to get in the way of the deal with the arguments that the merger could negatively impact the competitiveness of other companies in the gaming market. In September, the UK Competition and Markets Authority announced it's opening an in-depth investigation into the deal, and Sony has now submitted its arguments against the merger.
The chief argument that the Japanese company is putting forward is that if the deal proceeds, the Call of Duty franchise will become the property of Microsoft, giving it a huge share of the gaming market as a whole. Sony stated that CoD’s chief competitor, Battlefield, cannot compete on this level.
Sony Gives Some Examples
“Call of Duty is too entrenched for any rival, no matter how well equipped, to catch up. It has been the top-selling game for almost every year in the last decade and, in the first-person shooter genre, it is overwhelmingly the top-selling game,” Sony’s statement said. “Other publishers do not have the resources or expertise to match its success.”
To support its claims that even EA and its Battlefield franchise cannot compete with CoD, Sony showed some numbers. As of August 2021, more than 400 million Call of Duty games has been sold, while Battlefield has sold just 88.7 million copies,” Sony wrote. Considering the latest title in the Battlefield series, Battlefield 2042, had a very rocky year, Sony’s numbers have credence to them, with even EA itself commenting the game “did not meet expectations”.
In the meantime, the Call of Duty franchise has been doing quite well. The recent releases of Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2 have proven quite popular, despite the games continuing to suffer from hilarious glitches.
Microsoft has, itself, been responding to Sony’s claims, saying that the acquisition of the CoD franchise will not negatively impact the market. The company went so far as to badmouth its own games to get the point across, saying that PlayStation exclusives are “of better quality” than Xbox exclusives, pointing to best-selling titles like God of War, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us.
No matter what the regulatory organs decide, it’s clear that these two tech giants’ competition will continue forward.