When Microsoft bought the Activision Blizzard developer studio for almost 70 billion US dollars at the beginning of the year, an earthquake went through the gaming industry. Immediately afterwards there were numerous reports about the future of the discredited CEO Bobby Kotick at Blizzard. However, it is at least as unclear whether the deal will actually be approved by the antitrust authorities. The first-person shooter Call of Duty, in particular, seems to be a major bone of contention. Although Microsoft has assured that the title will be available on Playstation consoles for several years, Sony feels badly treated.
Call of Duty continues to be a major topic of controversy
Reviewing the deal between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft, it seems like the possible console exclusivity of a franchise as big as Call of Duty is a major bone of contention.
However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer assured immediately after the takeover that Call of Duty would continue to be playable on Playstation, which he recently confirmed again.
But he didn’t decide that out of pure charity, but primarily to appease the supervisory authorities. Mainly that British antitrust authority CMA recently expressed concern that the acquisition would restrict competition and put consumers at a disadvantage.
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Sony calls Microsoft’s offer ‘insufficient’
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan thinks Spencer’s offer doesn’t take enough account of the Playstation user’s point of view. Opposite to GamesIndustry he said the following: “I hadn’t planned [das Angebot] to comment because I thought it was a private business discussion. But I feel like I need to get that straight because Phil Spencer made the deal public.”
“Microsoft only offered us Call of Duty to remain on Playstation for three years after their current deal with Activision expires. After nearly 20 years of the Call of Duty franchise on Playstation, their offer fell short on many levels and did not consider the impact on our players. We want to ensure that PlayStation players continue to have the best possible Call of Duty experience and Microsoft’s offering undermines that principle,” concludes Jim Ryan in his statement. It remains to be seen whether and to what extent Sony will give in and how much they can damage or delay the deal in the end.