Sony says Xbox's Call Of Duty offer will 'irreparably harm competition’
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Featured Image Credit: Activision Blizzard/Sony
Sony says that Xbox’s Call of Duty offer will “irreparably” harm competition and innovation within the video game industry.
In the latest twist to the tale of the seemingly never-ending proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, Sony is claiming the deal could do more harm than good to the industry.
The Activision Blizzard acquisition saga has been running rampant for over a year now and just when we think it's coming to its conclusion, we get another bump in the road. Much of the opposition against the deal has been from Sony, led by Jim Ryan. Even Google has chimed in with its concerns too.
Recently, as reported by IGN, documents filed to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) went public. Within the documents were details on Microsoft’s intention of keeping the likes of Call of Duty on PlayStation as well as bringing it to Nintendo for at least 10 years.
However, despite the proposal of the decade-long deal, it seems that Sony still isn't happy. In fact, it’s reported that Sony believes that such a deal would be bad for competition.
“Redacted versions of the observations filed by SIE and Microsoft on the CMA’s remedies notice were made public this week,” said Sony in a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz.
“Information regarding the terms of an offer made by Microsoft to provide future Call of Duty releases on PlayStation was redacted at the request of Microsoft. We believe their current offer will irreparably harm competition and innovation in the industry.”
What’s more, in Sony’s document filed to the UK’s CMA, the Japanese giant said that it would be “extremely sceptical that an agreement with Microsoft could be reached, much less monitored and enforced effectively.”
So, why does there seem to be a lack of trust from Sony towards Microsoft? Well for starters, Sony believes that Microsoft could release a buggy version of Call of Duty on PlayStation to deliberately sabotage player experience on the rival console.
Moreover, Sony is concerned that Microsoft could make Call of Duty more expensive to buy on PlayStation compared to Xbox as well as not investing the same amount of time in its multiplayer. Sony is also concerned about the advantage Microsoft would gain by bringing the series to Xbox Game Pass.
Back in October 2022, industry insider Tom Henderson reported that Sony had a deal in place that blocked Call of Duty from coming to Xbox Game Pass. So, if those reports were true, even if Microsoft successfully acquired Activision Blizzard, the likelihood is that the popular FPS series wouldn't come to the subscription service “for a number of years”.
Despite being dragged out for over a year, with no clear end in sight, it seems that the original deadline for the deal to be completed by the end of June 2023 is looking increasingly unlikely.