The ongoing battle between Microsoft and Sony over the former’s intentions to acquire Activision Blizzard is continuing to heat up, with the Call of Duty franchise remaining the focal point of arguments.
Most recently, both Sony and the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) regulatory body expressed concerns over Microsoft’s ability to sway users to Xbox/PC platforms with future Call of Duty exclusivity or an inferior Call of Duty experience on other devices. The CMA is set to make a decision on whether or not it supports the deal in the UK on April 26th, a day after the European Union’s regulating body also makes its final call.
Sony urges the UK’s antitrust watchdog to block Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision Blizzard deal or force it to sell Call of Duty https://t.co/KLQMZlICNL
Sony’s arguments in particular are beginning to sound increasingly desperate, with one of its published comments claiming that Microsoft could intentionally release versions of Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms that contained buggy or inferior game experiences. “For example, Microsoft might release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty where bugs and errors emerge only on the game’s final level or after later updates,” it said.
“Even if such degradations could be swiftly detected, any remedy would likely come too late, by which time the gaming community would have lost confidence in PlayStation as a go-to venue to play Call of Duty. Indeed, as Modern Warfare II attests, Call of Duty is most often purchased in just the first few weeks of release. If it became known that the game’s performance on PlayStation was worse than on Xbox, Call of Duty gamers could decide to switch to Xbox, for fear of playing their favourite game at a second-class or less competitive venue. ”
Microsoft has replied to a number of the concerns, including whether or not it would seek to offer a less-compelling Call of Duty experience on PlayStation platforms, saying in a documented response that “The remedy will provide Sony with parity on release date, content, features, upgrades, quality and playability with the Xbox platform. Microsoft is prepared to commit to have an Objective Third Party Assessor.”
And while Microsoft has also reiterated that future Call of Duty releases will be fair game for Sony to include in its PlayStation Plus subscription services day-and-date with Game Pass, saying “Any CoD Game in a Microsoft multigame subscription is eligible for inclusion in Sony’s multi-game subscription service, at the same time and for the same duration,” Sony underlined its concerns in its documents that Microsoft could essentially “fix” the price of the games and force its hand at increasing the cost of PlayStation Plus to make this a reality.
It’s all getting a bit silly, if you ask me, and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting this to be done and dusted sooner rather than later, whatever the outcome. Especially when stuff like this starts happening:
Microsoft has placed a full-page ad in two newspapers in the UK today for its Activision Blizzard deal. "Call of Duty for 150 million more players," argues Microsoft as it pushes for its deal to be approved by UK regulators https://t.co/An7Lo465UKpic.twitter.com/PkayLYfEh8