May 31, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Microsoft tells CMA that Sony UK could create a Call of Duty competitor within 10 years

In a heavily revised response to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority regarding its proposed US$69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has insisted that Sony will be able to create its own Call of Duty alternative within 10 years.

Microsoft Newly published document It was introduced in response to the CMA’s recent therapy session, and a discussion of the terms the regulator might insist on before it is ready to agree to a deal. And while much has been redacted, it mostly lays out Microsoft’s arguments for why its proposed 10-year deal with Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, and its signed agreements with Nvidia, are enough to satisfy the CMA’s concerns.

Among all this, though, there’s a nugget from Microsoft that 10 years should be plenty of time for Sony to tease a Call of Duty competitor on its own – while masking the rather obvious fact that Activision’s shooter had more From 20 years to building the kind of brand recognition that turned it into the juggernaut gaming franchise it is today.

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“Microsoft considers 10 years to be sufficient for Sony, as a leading console publisher and platform, to develop alternatives to CoD,” the company tells CMA. The 10-year period will extend to the next generation of gaming consoles [Redacted]. ”

“Furthermore,” he adds, “the practical effect of the treatment will extend beyond the 10-year period, as games downloaded in the final year of the treatment can continue to be played for the life of that console (and beyond, with backwards compatibility).”

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It’s tempting, of course, to read that as a tacit admission, Microsoft does indeed plan to take Call of Duty away forever from its Xbox exclusivity once 10 years have passed, but quickly follows it up by insisting once again that such a move wouldn’t make sense.

“CoD is a nearly 20-year-old entertainment franchise,” she wrote. “[Redacted]Microsoft will need to secure the widest distribution for the franchise and will be highly motivated to keep it on the PlayStation platform [Redacted]. Microsoft considers that, having kept CoD on PlayStation and expanded its player base on Nintendo, GeForce Now, and other cloud gaming platforms for a decade, it will have no incentive, or indeed the ability, to take CoD exclusively.

The CMA is set to announce its decision on Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard on April 26, while the European Union – which is currently seeking feedback from competitors and customers – will now finalize its decision on May 22. Microsoft recently won the ability to examine a trove of internal documents from within Sony to help its ongoing case with the FTC.