Sony has expressed concerns about Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard, citing fears that the move could lead to negative consequences for the future of Call of Duty. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has released documents submitted by Sony outlining the company’s concerns, which include worries that Microsoft may raise the price of Call of Duty, make it exclusive to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service, and possibly even degrade the quality of the game on the PlayStation platform.
One specific scenario highlighted by Sony involves Microsoft releasing a PlayStation version of Call of Duty with bugs and errors that only appear on the final level or after later updates. Sony argues that any remedy would likely come too late, potentially leading the gaming community to lose confidence in PlayStation as a preferred platform to play Call of Duty. Sony also fears that Microsoft could intentionally or incidentally degrade the quality and performance of Call of Duty on PlayStation compared to Xbox, ignore PlayStation-specific features, or restrict and degrade the multiplayer experience on PlayStation.
While both Sony and Microsoft have previously battled for Call of Duty rights and used exclusive bonuses and packs to entice console gamers to their respective platforms, Sony’s concerns about Microsoft prioritizing Call of Duty on Xbox or ignoring new Sony hardware features are understandable. However, it is unlikely that Microsoft would intentionally sabotage Call of Duty on PlayStation with bugs, as it could generate backlash for both Activision and Microsoft. The reality may be more subtle, with Microsoft and Activision potentially prioritizing bug fixes on Xbox versions of the game due to developer familiarity or faster issue resolution.
Also read | Xbox breaks exclusive content tradition with Call of Duty post Activision deal
Sony is also concerned about Microsoft keeping Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass and not allowing Sony to offer the title on its own PlayStation Plus service. The company says that the licensing terms and pricing would “commercially destroy” its multi-game subscription business model. Despite these concerns, Microsoft has stated that any Call of Duty game in a Microsoft multi-game subscription is eligible for inclusion in Sony’s multi-game subscription service at the same time and for the same duration.
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