The takeover of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft is very frowned upon by Sony, which fears that its competitor will deprive it of flagship games like Call of Duty. While the British competition authority is looking into the matter, the Japanese company goes to the front and accuses Microsoft of wanting to transform it into a “Nintendo” company, that is to say targeting a completely different segment.
Before completing its takeover of Activision-Blizzard, Microsoft must validate its project before the high competition authorities. Currently, that of Great Britain is examining the file, an ideal opportunity for Sony to step up.
As one can imagine, the Japanese company takes a dim view of this transaction. One of the main reasons can be summed up in three words: Call of Duty. Microsoft owner of Activision, it will have control of the flagship license that sells PlayStations, the one on which Sony relies each year to give a boost to its budget.
Sony fears becoming the equivalent of Nintendo
Sony sent a 22-page right of reply to the British authority in order to defend its piece of fat. In this document, she of course mentions the question of Call of Duty. For the Japanese company, Microsoft would like to deprive it of this financial windfall. She also mentions some comments from her competitor, who felt that Sony could do very well without it, Nintendo having done well with the Switch.
For Sony, Microsoft’s strategy is clear: transform it little by little into an imitation Nintendo, that is to say, make it a non-direct competitor that does not aim at the same target at all. FPS fans would go to Xbox, others to PlayStation. The problem is that they are currently on the latter in their vast majority, all Caloffe achieving their best sales on this console.
With Call of Duty, Microsoft would add a new cartridge to its assault rifle. The Redmond firm would have the broadest FPS portfolio on the market, and more generally shooting games: Halo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, DOOM, Starfield, but also Gears of War… In short, it will be difficult for Sony to compete, even if SIE decides to develop a new license of the genre. It will take time to install it with the public.
Microsoft would have offered a 10-year deal to Sony
Sony therefore believes that Microsoft knowingly chooses to “ignore the facts” regarding Call of Duty and complains to the competent authorities. However, it will certainly take more to convince. The Brazilian authority, which examined the file, for example considered that Microsoft was in its right. An amicable solution could be found. As reported by The New York Times, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has offered Sony a deal to release Call of Duty on PlayStation for ten years. A proposal that was made a few days ago, but to which Sony has still not responded.
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In all cases, the acquisition of Actision-Blizzard is still far from complete, although he is on the right track. As a reminder, Microsoft announced a deal at the beginning of 2022 and it should – if all goes as planned – be effective in the course of 2023. This is the largest transaction in the industry. of video games (69 billion dollars) and it would make Microsoft the number 1 player in the sector, which obviously does not please Sony.
Call of Duty is at the center of the debates, but the competition goes far beyond this simple license. Sony, leader of the sector for years, takes a dim view of the birth of such a mastodon which would come to challenge its supremacy.