Sony tells regulator CoD players are likely to switch to Xbox, even without exclusivity

Sony has told UK competition regulator it thinks some Call of Duty players are likely to switch to Xboxeven if the series stays on Play station next Microsoft‘s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

That’s partly due to the greater differentiation she says could emerge between the Xbox and PlayStation versions of future CoD entries, should Microsoft’s proposed deal be approved by global market regulators.

That’s in addition to the obvious benefit that would arise for the consumer, should? Microsoft’s intent to bring Call of Duty to its Game Pass subscription service come to fulfillment.

Despite repeated assurances from Xbox that the Call of Duty series, which is regularly the best-selling release of the year in the US, will remain on PlayStation, Sony has been embroiled in an increasingly public battle of words over the proposed deal, telling press that the offer from Microsoft regarding the future of CoD”inadequate on many levels”.

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Regulators around the world are currently investigating the proposed acquisition of Microsoft, with the: UK’s CMA out of similar concerns that the deal could harm PlayStation and other game subscription services should Microsoft make Activision Blizzard content exclusive to its platform.

Microsoft said in response: on the CMA’s decision to expand its investigation this week that it “does not intend to take Call of Duty away from gamers” and claimed it would “affect both the Call of Duty and Xbox brands” .

However, a comprehensive paper published by the CMA reveals that: Sony Interactive Entertainment believes that even if Microsoft stays true to its word to keep the series in multiple formats, it can still add exclusive features to the Xbox versions of Call of Duty games, to the point where it “probably” will be the would affect players’ console choice.

“SIE told the CMA that even if CoD games continued to be available on PlayStation after the Merger, the Merged Entity would still be able to participate in the foreclosure by making more distinctions between the versions of CoD available on Xbox and on PlayStation,” the document reads. is reading.

“According to SIE, gamers can expect that CoD on Xbox will include additional content and enhanced interoperability with the console hardware, in addition to any XGP membership benefits. SIE argued that these factors likely influence gamers’ console choice.”

Sony should know how much of an influence exclusive Call of Duty content has on consumers’ console choices, having had its own exclusive deal for the series for much of the past decade.

In recent years, PlayStation users have received content updates for other platforms through a marketing deal, as well as exclusive bonuses such as free item bundles. Previously, Xbox had the exact same content deal during the Xbox 360 generation.

Before it expires, Sony’s CoD deal is believed to cover this year’s Modern Warfare 2 and War Zone 2and a new game from Black Ops developer Treyarchwhich may not arrive until 2024.

Head of Gaming at Microsoft Phil Spencer claimed in September that he had provided Sony with a “signed agreement” promising “parity of features and content” in future Call of Duty games, “for at least several more years” after the expiration of the existing Sony contract.

While the Xbox exec claimed the offerings “go way beyond typical gaming industry similarities,” Sony’s Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz the company is not satisfied with the proposal.

“I wasn’t going to comment on what I understood to be a private business discussion, but I feel the need to set it straight because Phil Spencer brought this up on the public forum,” Ryan said.

“Microsoft has only offered Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years following the current agreement between Activity and Sony ends.

“After nearly 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to consider the impact on our gamers. We want to ensure that PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”