Microsoft has reiterated there are no apparent plans for the Call of Duty franchise to become exclusive to Xbox, explaining the reasons behind this in a 27-page document for Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).
CADE is currently looking into Microsoft's upcoming acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and as part of this document, Microsoft says that "the strategy of retaining Activision Blizzard’s games by not distributing them in rival console shops would simply not be profitable" (thanks to VGC for the transcription).
"Such a strategy would be profitable only if Activision Blizzard’s games were able to attract a sufficiently large number of gamers to the Xbox console ecosystem, and if Microsoft could earn enough revenue from game sales to offset the losses from not distributing such games on rival consoles."
Despite the quote above, the statement explains that "exclusivity strategies still result in title-specific costs", and when combined with estimated lost sales, Microsoft wouldn't be able to offset those losses by implementing exclusivity.
"This is especially true considering (i) the ‘gamer-centric’ – as opposed to ‘device-centric’ – strategy that Microsoft has pioneered with Game Pass, and (ii) the fact that PlayStation has the most loyal users across its various generations, with all indications that brand loyalty accrued in previous rounds of the ‘console wars’ suggesting that PlayStation will continue to have a strong market position.”
It's even mentioned that making Call of Duty exclusive "would have no competitive impact" for various reasons including the high degree of player loyalty on rival consoles, as well as “the intense competition in the game publishing market”.
So there you go! It sounds like Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation for the foreseeable future. Even so, Microsoft has taken a few shots at Sony in this report, such as calling the company "resentful" that COD will be coming to Game Pass on day one in the future, and even accusing Sony of blocking content from appearing on Game Pass entirely!
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know down in the comments below.
Just waiting to see how micro-transaction focus the game will be once its around the subscription program.
Translation: Once we've made our money back for the purchase off the backs of PlayStation's rabid userbase, we will cut them off.
@uptownsoul It’s the work of editorialization. Though not necessarily far fetched considering that Starfield and Redfall are both Xbox exclusives, which I single out simply because of their high profile nature. In the context provided, it doesn’t seem like they discuss future games - only pre-existing. I don’t feel like reading through 27 pages, but my gut tells me there are loopholes where they could pull an exclusivity on unannounced games or franchises.
the fact that PlayStation has the most loyal users across its various generations, with all indications that brand loyalty accrued in previous rounds of the ‘console wars’ suggesting that PlayStation will continue to have a strong market position.
The irony is that a lot of these most vocal ‘fans’ from the ‘previous round of the console wars’ were likely once the part of the most vocal Xbox fanbase. Hell, look at some of the most prominent PlayStation focus YouTubers currently capping for sony today…odds are one of those you’ve heard of were team Xbox back in the 360 days. I can name at least two.
And for all the ‘blind defending’…the reality is these people care most about being on ‘team winning’. So I wouldn’t say it impossible for the perceived most loyal PlayStation fan to flip flop again. Although Sony would have to really mess things up this gen.
Xbox is definitely ‘gamer-centric’ rather than ‘device-centric’. They don’t want to see Sony destroyed. They want to see gamepass on PlayStation.
But of course the aim is to use cod to gain subs…and have that PlayStation casual crowd that associates PlayStation with cod last gen to associate Xbox with cod this gen. They’re not spending 70billion not to grow gamepass. It really doesn’t matter if it’s still on a PlayStation console…if it’s being marketed like it’s an Xbox exclusive and day 1 on gamepass.
@Wilforce the issue is the scale of CoD. The games make so many sales (both on game copies and dlc) that an instant cutoff from the PlayStation marker won’t ever be made up. It’s also the reason that Sony also never was able to just pay Activision for an exclusivity on a CoD game, because they would had been forced to pay more than AB would had lost from Xbox sales, and that was simply too much money.
This is exclusively a CoD phenomena. AB does not make any other game that operates as such scale.
"Microsoft has reiterated there are no (current) plans for the Call of Duty franchise to become exclusive to Xbox, explaining the reasons behind this in a 27-page document"
Great news and the only sensible option to pursue.
Put all the games from the ABK acquisition on Gamepass day one and let the Sony fanbase buy your games for £70 - they don't seem to mind increasingly ridiculous game prices. Win-win for all....
"the fact that PlayStation has the most loyal users across its various generations, with all indications that brand loyalty accrued in previous rounds of the ‘console wars’ suggesting that PlayStation will continue to have a strong market position.”
No sh*t Sherlock, emphasis on loyal and brand loyalty. Sony can always count on their army of (at times toxic) fans to needlessly over react, make threats and propagating whatever false narratives Sony comes up with.
@uptownsoul Microsoft didn't use the word "current" — I've now changed this to avoid any confusion. 👍
Anyone who's an adult playing console wars is embarrassing unless you have shares in these companies who ***** cares.
COD like Minecraft serves MS better remaining multiplat. A game that isn’t that huge like Starfielld serves them better to remain exclusive. This isn’t difficult to predict as we have precedent on how they handle games of each size.
I believe that whilst Sony are making Hardware and actively blocking MS subscription services, then it makes sense to release Call of Duty on that platform. As we have seen with Minecraft, ESO, F76 etc, MS will 'keep' active online communities playing together on the 'devices' they have.
Of course if things go the way I 'expect' - when manufacturing and distribution of MILLIONS of consoles, each with sufficient specs to deliver the games we want and offer a 'tangible' reason to buy over Streaming for the 'majority' (not the minority of 'dedicated' gamers that frequent gaming forums etc), then I expect that the ONLY option for Call of Duty would be via Subscriptions.
If you remove 'hardware' from the equation because the game is accessible via streaming, like 'Netflix' - you don't buy hardware for Netflix, you use whatever device you have, then MS will have CoD exclusive on their Service to get you to Subscribe - they aren't going to put it on Sony's Sub service - just like Stranger Things isn't on Amazon Prime, Paramount+ etc
However, as none are actually ditching their 'own' hardware in the near future, then MS still has the option to 'publish' to Sony and sell the game as a '3rd' Party developer - getting the same 'revenue' that A/B enjoyed. It makes no sense cutting that revenue stream off and dividing the entire CoD community, the community they rely on for its continued success.
Its when 'hardware' becomes either obsolete or not 'cost effective' to produce in the quantity and specifications required to run the game at a 'decent' standard. By which time, MS will have built up a Robust streaming solution and their service is available everywhere.
It doesn’t currently make sense to make COD exclusive. Having it on Game Pass will cause some of the COD market to bleed across to MS. If MS have the sense to ditch GWG and make Online free, that would speed the process.
But for now and the foreseeable future, pocketing all that cash from £70 Playstation purchases is the only way forward.
Just make it Xbox exclusive for fun and see what happens 😂
Microsoft doesn't need to cut off PlayStation in the slightest because they already have a massive advantage - game pass.
If you were to give a call of duty fan the option to either a) get the new cod on day 1 on game pass or b) pay full price for it on Playstation which one do you think most people will pick?
Its a pretty stupid argument. We all already know for a fact that Microsoft has NEVER made money from games at all and continues to put money into buying market share.
'Not being proffitable' is therefore not a reason why they would not act anticompetitively, its never been an issue before, so why would it make a difference now? It clearly shows they will say anything....
One thing to keep in mind: by now (obviously) microsoft has looked at AB's books and how much money each game makes on each platform. They likely have seen assessments on things like multi-console users and the like.
They know the budget of making these games at such high (yearly or every other year) and know that they cant ever absorb the costs of keeping that pace while keeping the series only on XBox and PC.
Hell, I am calling this now: they will start releasing CoD games on the Switch in Cloud Version form, powered by XCloud technology even if not branded as Game Pass.
Smaller series, like a new Crash or Spiro game, a Diablo 5, a console version of WoW, all that, I would expect to go console xbox only.
It’s been to quiet this week 😂
"We all already know for a fact that Microsoft has NEVER made money from games at all and continues to put money into buying market share."
Are you absolutely sure about that? Because I find your claim to be grossly erroneous, since Microsoft undoubtedly made money from several of their IP's over the years. It is false to claim otherwise...
No reaction though today.
Think it’s the very hot weather in the UK
All are staying cool and calm 😆
@Sol4ris Your right of course, its xbox they've not made money from, and you are correct their will be ips they have made profit on. As they have not had to reveal if these profits cover the losses they make on the sale of the machines, I guess overall profits would be a matter of speculation.
Im sure you dont need links to confirmation of no profits on xbox.. A google search will show those articles.
"Im sure you dont need links to confirmation of no profits on xbox.."
Absolutely correct, Microsoft themselves have admitted that much in the Apple v Epic court documents. I was referring to their games.
@Dezzy70 Just for the sake of it!
lol, your comment made my day
@Sol4ris so you think £70 game prices are fine when it's Microsoft owned studios selling them ?
@Bleachedsmiles "And for all the ‘blind defending’…the reality is these people care most about being on ‘team winning’"
This really just needs to be a sticky at the top of every forum thread everywhere. It defines gaming, politics, the internet, pretty much everything humanity touches anymore. There are no values, virtues, or beliefs. It's all just about being on the winning team, whichever one it happens to be today.
My pleasure, you have to have fun we these topics sometimes.
But also I’m serious, now and again 😂
"so you think £70 game prices are fine when it's Microsoft owned studios selling them ?"
No mate, I do not. But since the Sony fanbase doesn't seem to mind and are actually defending it just because Sony said is necessary, then what else is there to say? Oh and Microsoft seems to love money just as much
@Sol4ris well there are still people that like to buy games to own & if they're going to charge £70 for the PS version then they'd also charge £70 for the Xbox version isnt that as anti consumer as Sony charging £70 for their games or do you think being able to rent the game via gamepass makes up for that
Makes me what the point of buying Activision is if the games are going multi platform. Odd one Microsoft.
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