Microsoft’s takeover of Activision-Blizzard is widely frowned upon by Sony, which fears its competitor will take away its flagship game like Call of Duty. While the British competition authority is looking into the matter, the Japanese company is going to the front, accusing Microsoft of wanting to turn it into a “Nintendo” company, that is, targeting a completely different segment.
Before Microsoft’s takeover of Activision-Blizzard is completed, Microsoft must validate its project before the high competition authorities. Currently, the UK is investigating the matter, an ideal opportunity for Sony to move up.
As you can imagine, the Japanese company takes a dim view of this transaction. One of the main reasons can be summed up in three words: Call of Duty. Microsoft’s owner of Activision, it wants control of the flagship license that sells PlayStations, which Sony relies on every year to boost its budget.
Sony fears becoming equivalent to Nintendo
Sony sent a 22-page right to reply to the British authority to defend its piece of fat. In this document she naturally mentions the issue of Call of Duty. For the Japanese company, Microsoft would like to strip it of this financial windfall. She also mentions some comments from her competitor who thought that Sony could do well without it since Nintendo had done well with the Switch.
For Sony, Microsoft’s strategy is clear: turning it little by little into an imitation Nintendo, that is, make it a non-direct competitor that does not aim at the same goal at all. FPS fans would go to Xbox, others to PlayStation. The problem is that they are currently on the latter in their vast majority, all of them Caloff achieve their best sales on this console.
With Call of Duty, Microsoft would add a new cartridge to its battle rifle. The Redmond company would have the widest FPS portfolio on the market, and more general shooting games: Halo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, DOOM, Starfield, but also Gears of War… In short, it will be difficult for Sony to compete, even if SIE decides to develop a new license of the genre. It will take time to install it with the public.
Microsoft would have offered a 10-year deal to Sony
Sony therefore believes that Microsoft is deliberately choosing to “ignore the facts” regarding Call of Duty and complaints to the competent authorities. However, more convincing is definitely needed. The Brazilian authority that investigated the case, for example, believed that Microsoft was right. An amicable solution could be found. As reported by The New York Times, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has offered Sony a deal to publish Call of Duty on PlayStation for ten years. A suggestion that was made a few days ago, but which Sony has still not responded to.
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In all cases the purchase of Action-Blizzard is still far from complete, although he is on the right track. As a reminder, Microsoft announced an agreement at the beginning of 2022, and it should – if everything goes as planned – take effect during 2023. This is the largest transaction in the video game industry ($ 69 billion) and it would Microsoft to the number 1 player in the sector, which obviously does not please Sony.
Call of Duty is at the center of the debates, but the competition goes far beyond this simple license. Sony, which has been the leader of the sector for years, takes a dim view of the birth of such a behemoth that would come to challenge its supremacy.