MEDIAWORLD – Find the console on offer
Continue there long distance battle between Sony and Microsoft, after the latter acquired last year Activision Blizzardvideo game publisher that owns the exclusive rights to the hugely popular franchise Call of Duty. Sony wants to block the deal at all costs, worried about the impact that the acquisition could have on the future of the industry. The exclusive ownership of Call of Duty would in fact lead to an advantage for Microsoft, owner of Xbox, which represents the main competitor of PlayStation, owned by Sony.
The initial concerns were about the hypothesis of Xbox exclusivity of future games of the franchise. A scenario averted immediately, given that Microsoft has publicly declared that it has no intention of making the games exclusive to its consoles. Statements also confirmed by the recent agreement entered into with Nintendo, which ensures that future Call of Duty games will land on the Switch console for the next 10 years.
Today comes a new accusation from Sony, which says it is convinced that Microsoft will boycott PlayStation versions of Call of Duty.
Sony: “Microsoft will boycott PlayStation versions of Call of Duty”
Video games usually have different difficulty settings, but Sony seems to want to play Call of Duty in paranoia mode. This is confirmed by the recent statements of the company, which accuses Microsoft of wanting to boycott its games in the PlayStation versions.
“Even if Microsoft acts in good faith, it would have an incentive to prioritize the development of the Xbox version of the game, for example by using its best developers for it,” Sony said (via NME). “There would be no practical way to monitor the performance of Microsoft, which may choose to focus their efforts qualitatively and quantitatively on the Xbox versions, to the detriment of the product for PlayStation.”
Sony also hinted that Microsoft might “release a buggy PlayStation version of Call Of Duty” or “more expensive editions for PlayStation consoles”which would lead fans to “lose their faith in PlayStation as the reference console for gaming”.
In the meantime, the authorities are assessing the situation
The whole situation is decidedly complex, although the skein would seem to be moving towards a slow unwinding. Microsoft has already found agreements for the publication of future Call of Duty games with the main platforms. In addition to the aforementioned 10-year agreement with Nintendo, Microsoft also has an understanding with Steam, thus ensuring the distribution of Call of Duty games on Switch and PC. Instead, the doors of PlayStation remain closed, as Sony continues to press authorities to block the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
In Europe, the authorities should give the green light in the coming weeks, while approving the acquisition in the United States, the FTC continues to pursue its investigation. In the UK – where the relevant authority is the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – possible countermeasures are evaluated so that the acquisition does not actually create a market monopoly.
In particular the CMA has made a number of proposals which would approve the acquisition but would limit any anti-competitive maneuvers by Microsoft. However, Sony would like the total cancellation of the acquisition, and does not seem to be willing to accept any kind of compromise.