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Sony says Microsoft’s ownership of Call of Duty could influence console buyers in the future

Platform holder adds that fanbase is so entrenched, even a similar product with the right budget "would not be able to rival it"

A new report reveals that Sony believes that Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard may influence future console purchases.

As reported by VGC, the platform holder responded to questions about the acquisition from the Brazilian government alongside other gaming and tech firms.

"[Call of Duty] is synonymous with first-person shooter games and essentially defines that category," it said to regulators.

Sony noted in the questionnaire that its unlikely that a competitor can rival Call of Duty due to the developmental resources it uses.

"Approximately 1,200 people work on each version and another 1,500 are involved in publishing and distribution," it explained.

"Thus, Call of Duty alone has more developers than most game companies employ across its entire development portfolio, including AAA studios."

Sony added that for the past decade Call of Duty "is overwhelmingly the best-selling game."

"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," Sony explained.

Shortly after the news of Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that Microsoft intends to honor all of the Call of Duty's maker current deals.

"Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony," said Spencer.

"I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship."

Rock Paper Shotgun notes that Microsoft made contrary statements, as you might expect, in its June 2022 response to the UK's Competition Markets Authority, which is also investigating the acqusition.

The company said: "There is nothing unique about the video games developed and published by Activision Blizzard that is a 'must have' for rival PC and console video game distirbutors that could give rise to a foreclosure concern."

Sony is no doubt hoping to avoid a situation where Call of Duty becomes exclusive to Microsoft platforms.

On this matter, the Xbox firm said: "Microsoft has demonstrated that it is not withdrawing content from other platforms, having made multiple public statements that it will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement and beyond."

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Jeffrey Rousseau avatar
Jeffrey Rousseau: Jeffrey joined in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.
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