As Microsoft would then control the Call of Duty franchise, which Sony has dubbed “irreplaceable,” regulators, particularly the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), have raised worries that the deal might drastically impair PlayStation’s capacity to compete.
Microsoft has promised regulators that it will release all future Call of Duty games on PlayStation on the same day they launch for Xbox, with complete feature and content parity, for a period of 10 years.
Yet in a recently released document, the firm explains to the CMA that it thinks Sony has had ten years to come up with viable alternatives to Call of Duty.
At the Remedies Hearing, the CMA questioned Microsoft about whether or not Sony would face a “cliff edge” at the conclusion of the 10-year lifespan. According to Microsoft, “the ten-year timeframe is [redacted].
For Sony to produce viable Counter-Strike: Global Offensive alternatives in Microsoft’s opinion would take a lot longer than 10 years.
“The 10- year term will extend into the next console generation [redacted]. Moreover, the practical effect of the remedy will go beyond the 10-year period, since games downloaded in the final year of the remedy can continue to be played for the lifetime of that console (and beyond, with backwards compatibility).”
Sony has claimed to regulators that they would be unable to find a suitable replacement for Call of Duty if it were removed from PlayStation.
Sony described Call of Duty as “an essential game: a blockbuster, an AAA-type game that has no competition” in answer to inquiries from Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, which ultimately gave its approval to the sale.
According to the article, “The relevance of Call of Duty to entertainment, in general, is ineffable,” which is a quote from a 2019 research. Fans ranked the brand in the top 10 of all entertainment brands, with giants like Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings; it was the only video game IP to make the cut.
“Call of Duty is so popular that it influences users’ choice of console, and its community of loyal users is entrenched enough that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, it would not be able to rival it.”
Microsoft has said 10 years is long enough for Sony to develop rival offerings to the Call of Duty franchise should Xbox acquire Activision’s shooter serieshttps://t.co/tzGYQTxK5S pic.twitter.com/Hj1BwF2CHf
— VGC (@VGC_News) March 21, 2023
Microsoft has just issued its response to the CMA, in which it claims the 10-year period is longer than or on par with past licensing remedies imposed in prior acquisitions.
“While Microsoft is prepared to continue to discuss this constructively with the CMA, there is no basis for extending the remedy beyond the period proposed by Microsoft,” that’s what it said.