In documents sent to the British antitrust, which is investigating theacquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft states that today Call of Duty is a less relevant franchise due to competition, today much fiercer than in 2005 – 2015.
Specifically here Microsoft is talking about competition in the broadest possible sense of the term, therefore not only multiplayer shooters like Battlefield (which by the way is not even mentioned, thus indirectly giving reason to Sony, who says that EA’s IP does not can compete with Call of Duty), but also titles of different genres such as Elden Ring.
“There are far more popular games available in the market in 2022 than there were between 2005 and 2015 (when Xbox had some exclusive rights to Call of Duty content), including Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legends, Elden Ring and many others,” the document reads. “If anything, the importance of Call of Duty as a franchise was greatest in 2005 – 2015.”
Like the other statements sent to the CMA regarding the Acquisition, it is clear that both Sony and Microsoft are throwing water at their mill, appearing as “weak” as possible in the face of UK antitrust regulators and underestimating / underestimating the weight of Call of Duty on the market.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Having said that, Microsoft’s reasoning is not entirely wrong and actually compared to 10 – 20 years ago today there are many more games that we can consider mass phenomena like Call of Duty.
On the other hand, it is also true that the gaming market has expanded significantly since 2005 and that many of the most popular games are free-to-play titles, such as PUBG, Apex Legends, Fortnite (mentioned by Microsoft) and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 (we mention it). However, the claims of the Redmond giant clash with the results of Modern Warfare 2, which grossed a billion dollars in ten days, shattering the records set by previous games.
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