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Microsoft Pushes Back on Sony's Concerns About the Activision Blizzard Acquisition

GameRant logo GameRant 8/10/2022 Rory Young
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Microsoft is facing stiff reviews from regulatory bodies across the world as it seeks to close the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft is having to address concerns regarding its increasing control of the gaming marketplace given Activision Blizzard's size. These reviews have led to some interesting statements and revelations, to say the least. The latest example comes in response to Sony itself, which alleged that Call of Duty's popularity is so significant no single platform holder should own it. Microsoft, naturally, disagrees.

Sony's argument, filed as part of Brazil's ongoing look into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, claims that Call of Duty's popularity "influences users' choice of console." Further, that Call of Duty player loyalty means a rival could never recreate its success. Its point is that Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard, and Call of Duty with it, would be anti-competitive. Microsoft has now issued a statement countering Call of Duty's point that's difficult to deny.

RELATED: Xbox Hiring Someone to Help With Future Acquisitions

Microsoft starts by pointing out that Sony is the only party to make such claims, with other third-party entities that were consulted having no similar feelings on the acquisition. Further, Microsoft believes Sony is being contradictory in its point. Microsoft points out that exclusivity deals have also been a key component of Sony's own business strategy. In fact, Sony is actively making deals in which developers have to agree they won't publish their games on Xbox Game Pass.

There are several further counterarguments provided by Microsoft as part of its 27-page document filed with Brazil's regulatory body. These include Microsoft's intent to continue releasing Call of Duty games on PlayStation, analysis regarding how Xbox Game Pass is just one way gamers pay to play games, Sony's own competitive subscription services, and so on.

A particular focus by both Sony and Microsoft is regarding Call of Duty coming to Xbox Game Pass. While Sony's statements do belie worries that Call of Duty will create a shift toward Xbox consoles, that's through the lens of Call of Duty being offered via the Xbox Game Pass subscription. Microsoft's response similarly focuses on why Call of Duty being offered Day One on Xbox Game Pass isn't anti-competitive.

For consumers, the argument is difficult to make complete sense of. It's easy to understand that Microsoft owning Call of Duty and offering it on Xbox Game Pass will be a huge boon. It may even hurt Sony in the long run, since Call of Duty is hugely popular on PlayStation platforms. That doesn't necessarily mean Microsoft's acquisition is anti-competitive, though. There will always be new games, and even if Xbox grows increasingly popular in the years to come while PlayStation declines, that's normal for the industry, too. Whether any of this will impact Microsoft's acquisition is another matter entirely, though.

MORE: Microsoft's Activision Acquisition Gives Xbox Control Over Two Classic PlayStation Franchises

Source: VideoGamesChronicle


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