Whether or not Call of Duty will become exclusive to Xbox when (or if) Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is completed has been a major sticking point for Sony, and it’s that very point that has led to authorities looking at the proposed deal with much greater scrutiny.
Sony has now provided its own statement to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in which it has put forth many arguments for why the proposed acquisition will harm competition in the industry, plenty of which, predictably enough, was focused on Call of Duty and the franchise’s stature.
The gist of Sony’s argument on this specific front is that even if PlayStation’s first party were able to spend “many, many years and billions of dollars” to create a “challenger to Call of Duty“, it would still “more than likely be unsuccessful.” The example that Sony points to to make its argument? Battlefield.
“Even assuming that SIE had the ability and resources to develop a similarly successful franchise to Call of Duty, it would take many, many years and billions of dollars to create a challenger to Call of Duty – and the example of EA’s Battlefield shows that any such efforts would more than likely be unsuccessful.”
While it goes without saying that Battlefield is no minnow when it comes to its global reach and commercial standing, there’s no denying that EA’s franchise doesn’t enjoy nearly the same sort of success that Call of Duty sees on a yearly basis. Recent weeks have exemplified that beyond question, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 having earned $1 billion in revenue within 10 days of release, and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 amassing 25 million players in 5 days. In comparison, last year, Battlefield 2042 sold over 4.2 million units in its first week.
Recently, it was reported that Microsoft has is willing to commit to a 10-year deal with Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Previously, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that the company intends to keep releasing Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms as long as PlayStation exists, and that there would be no caveats to such releases.