Activision is still being contested. When it appeared that everything was finalized down to the last button, Sony made the decision to put a pin in Microsoft pays and, in some little way, prevent the titan from Redmond from acquiring Blizzard.
A few days ago, Microsoft weighed in on the subject and claimed that Activision Blizzard didn’t have any brands in its portfolio that might significantly impact the video gaming industry. Sony has a different perspective since it thinks that if Microsoft acquired Call of Duty, PlayStation would have to answer for losses of up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Idas, a user of the ResetEra site, looked into the situation and included a lengthy denial from Microsoft in his post. Its purpose is to hasten the acquisition of the American company while simultaneously communicating to parties like The Council of the Economic Defense Administration of Brazil (CADE) that Sony would not be as adversely affected as claimed in press releases.
Microsoft’s spokespeople were to claim that only Sony had chosen to express such an unusual public position towards the acquisition of Activision among third parties (including Ubisoft, Riot Games, Amazon, or Google):
“Unsurprisingly, Sony was the only third party to express public sentiment regarding competing transaction analyses that were notably different from MS/ABK and third parties.
As it plans to continue competing with Microsoft’s subscription service, Sony does not want to watch Call of Duty games on Game Pass from the moment they are released.
We can understand Sony’s public protest regarding subscription games and the company’s response: Sony does not want enticing subscription services to endanger its hegemony in the digital distribution of the console games industry.
In other words, Sony opposes the adoption of new monetization strategies that might undermine their current business strategy.”
According to Microsoft, Sony is particularly concerned about adding more Call of Duty iterations to the Xbox Game Pass subscription, which could hurt PS5 console sales. Microsoft further disputes the assertion that Call of Duty was the “most powerful brand” whose exclusivity would upend the video game industry, saying that:
“Additionally, PlayStation has a strong foundation built by fans of the brand [due to exclusive titles – editorial note].
This basis, however, does not imply that the PlayStation market is distinct from all other console markets.
The extreme and illogical inference that may be drawn from such a finding is that Call of Duty is “a type of game in itself.”
Microsoft also reaffirmed its prior statement that it has no plans to make Call of Duty an exclusive brand, meaning that it won’t be available on PlayStation consoles and instead will be available on Xbox and PC. Spencer and the firm don’t think it makes much sense because there are already too many CoD enthusiasts on PlayStation and it would reduce the easy extra money.
Last but not least, it is interesting to note that Microsoft, the behemoth from Redmond, thinks Sony is trying to stymie the growth of the Xbox Game Pass and claims that the Japanese are paying some publishers to exclude their works from the Microsoft subscription in order to avoid appearing unjustified.