While the debate sparked by the harsh words of the US Chamber of Commerce against the CMA for the Activision-Microsoft deal continues online, the independent institute ITIF has conducted an analysis on the multi-platform or Xbox-exclusive future of Call of Duty.
The report shared by the US think tank (which we recall is non-profit, non-partisan and disconnected from the decision-making process of antitrust bodies) takes its cue from the rich documentation produced by the British CMA to ‘dismantle the thesis’ regarding the advantages that Microsoft could obtain by deciding from turn the entire Call of Duty series into an Xbox exclusive.
The Washington-based institution explains that the conclusions reached by the CMA in expressing its concerns about the damage to competition (especially Sony) caused by the transformation of Call of Duty into an exclusive Xbox would be wrongboth from an economic point of view and from a strictly ‘historical’ point of view.
In the past, ITIF analysts point out, Microsoft has found itself in a position to acquire a cross-platform IP with tens of millions of fans: the reference is obviously a Minecraft. Once the acquisition of Mojang was completed, the Redmond house preferred not to transform Minecraft (and its spin-offs) into an Xbox exclusive, thus keeping the promise made to fans of the series.
Returning to Call of Duty, ITIF believes the CMA’s fears would be unfounded since “when a game doesn’t have much value, the cost of making it exclusive is relatively low. But for an internationally popular franchise like Call of Duty, the costs to be incurred to transform the IP into an exclusive would be significantly higher. For this reason, not only should we not expect Microsoft to deny Sony access to Call of Duty after the merger with Activision, but we should also expect, in all likelihood , an increase in the Call of Duty player base on PlayStation platforms“.
Regarding Sony and CMA fears for Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass, ITIF points out that “Multi-game subscription services are an increasingly popular tool. Both Sony and Microsoft, as well as others, offer similar services. . In general, the most popular or newest games tend not to be accessible through these subscriptions, however Microsoft adopts this strategy with Xbox Game Pass and plans to include Activision titles in its service after the merger. “
According to ITIF, the entry of Activision Blizzard’s games into the Game Pass would not be a damage to the competition, but an advantage for the entire sector and, obviously, for gamers, precisely in function of the fact that “at that point , Activision and Call of Duty series games would be available for a lower price, so all of this would allow a greater number of players to access Activision titles such as Call of Duty“.