In order to prevent Microsoft from taking over Activision Blizzard, Sony Interactive Entertainment recently repeatedly referred to the importance of the “Call of Duty” series. In a letter to the British Competition and Markets Authority, the PlayStation makers followed up again.
When Microsoft announced the planned takeover of Activision Blizzard at the beginning of the year, it was already foreseeable that the competition watchdogs around the world would take a closer look at the almost 69 billion US dollar deal.
For example, the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA for short) recently expressed concerns again and initiated an extensive phase 2 investigation that will deal with the planned takeover. According to the CMA, the popular “Call of Duty” series was the decisive factor, as it could have a massive impact on customers’ purchasing decisions. An argument that has been taken up and gratefully used by Sony Interactive Entertainment in recent weeks.
As can be seen from letters to the CMA, in which the PlayStation makers and Microsoft were able to comment on the current examination of the British competition authorities, Sony Interactive Entertainment followed up on this situation and underlined the importance of the “Call of Duty” series for the company or the PlayStation platforms.
Loss of Call of Duty series a threat to Sony Interactive Entertainment?
Based on Microsoft’s statement that the number of users of the PlayStation would be significantly higher than on the Xbox even without the “Call of Duty” series, Sony Interactive Entertainment replied: “That does not match our data. In 2021 there was an average [geschwärzt] Million MAUs from Call of Duty (and [geschwärzt] million accounts that played Call of Duty during the year). Based on these numbers, PlayStation would have far fewer MAUs than Xbox if the [geschwärzten] million MAUs would switch to Xbox.”
“The loss of all or a significant portion of these users, along with the associated revenue and profits, would significantly reduce SIE’s ability and incentive to invest in future hardware innovations and gaming technologies,” it said. Microsoft, in turn, argued that the PlayStation platforms would have more than double the user base of the Xbox systems, with 60 million monthly active users.
Microsoft continued: “Call of Duty is not driving sales for PlayStation and is only doing so [geschwärzte] percent of Sony’s digital revenue worldwide. In 2022, Call of Duty players on Xbox spent essentially the same amount of time as FIFA, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, NBK 2K, and Rocket League players. Importantly, they also spent about the same proportion of time playing other franchises.”
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According to Microsoft, this contradicts the statements that the “Call of Duty” series will massively influence the purchasing decisions of numerous customers. It is now up to the competition watchdogs of the CMA to examine the arguments presented. Especially since Microsoft Sony Interactive Entertainment is said to have recently submitted a 10-year offer for the “Call of Duty” series. We’ll tell you what this is all about here.
The Phase 2 investigation is expected to be completed in March 2023 as things currently stand.
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