Scrutiny surrounding Xbox's Activision Blizzard deal is increasing, especially as Microsoft has seemingly submitted all of the required info to the FTC. While such a process is formality in a deal of this nature, we're now seeing Xbox react to other opposing parties.
In the gaming space specifically, Xbox appears to believe Sony is the deal's only real stumbling block (surprise, surprise). A document filed by Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has been published online (transcribed via VGC), and basically, it suggests Sony isn't very happy about the acquisition.
Recently, Sony mentioned that Call of Duty "essentially defines" the first-person shooter category. The likes of Bandai Namco and Ubisoft apparently gave responses to CADE about this as well, but Sony was the only third party that claimed Call of Duty was in a genre of its own — which Microsoft seems to think is totally "unjustifiable":
"Only one third party, Sony, presented materially different opinions than the Applicants and the other third parties consulted by the SG [...] Sony is isolated in this understanding and, curiously, even contradicts itself in its response to the letter..."
“Stating that Call of Duty has a loyal following is a premise from which does not follow from the conclusion that the game is a ‘gaming category per se..."
“Sony’s own PlayStation, incidentally, has an established base of loyal brand players. Such a finding, however, does not lead to the conclusion that the PlayStation – or any branded product with loyal consumers – is a separate market from all other consoles.
“Extrapolating from such a finding to the extreme conclusion that Call of Duty is a ‘category of games per se’ is simply unjustifiable under any quantitative or qualitative analysis.”
Ouch! It's looking like Sony is putting up the most opposition then, which is no real surprise considering its deep ties with Call of Duty. The platform often works out exclusivity deals relating to the franchise, to make it seem like the 'lead platform' for CoD.
Xbox has also accused Sony of purposefully blocking games from arriving on Xbox Game Pass, which it believes is hurting the service's growth.
What do you make of all this? Is Sony the bad guy or do they have a point? Let us know your thoughts!
The longer this goes on the worse Sony will look. I'm sure Sony were super happy with how the PS4 generation went since they dominated it, but now Microsoft have decided to turn up this gen it seems rather than improving their own situation, Sony simply goes the path of least resistance and tries to squash the opposition.
Nothing MS has said of late the last few days about the Activision buyout has been remotely unjustified.
Removed - off-topic
Sony and MS aren't friends. In other news, the sky is blue.
Honestly, COD is big. It's a big deal. It has a huge audience. Its purchase is meaningful, but it's not the only big dog in today's world. It's not even the kind of franchise it was 10-15 years ago. Games like GTA, Fortnite, Rocket League, and so on, beat it quite easily for pure numbers of active players.
COD isn't the entire games market. Even if COD was made totally xbox exclusive, there'd be a lot of big(ger) players still in the game.
Any concern about COD can be said about Destiny. Both are being bought by a platform holder. Both chart really well in the most played games. Both are being said to remain multiplatform. Hell, even Minecraft is the top 8th most played game on PS5 and that is all of the above already. But Sony isn't bitching about these.
The key difference is this. Sony knows that as soon as MS are free to launch day release COD games on Game Pass, they will, and Sony does not want to compete with that, because they make a lot of money off of launch day £70 games. They want to keep that yearly big pay day.
At this point, it would almost be worth Microsoft making COD exclusive just to actually give Sony something to f-ing moan about. The hypocrisy on display here is staggering.
I can see this getting much much worse ,I can't see Microsoft taking the backseat after they discussed cod being multiplatform with Sony on the day it was announced and they still do this
If sony were to purchase rockstar I'm sure Microsoft would be in Sony's shoes and would be saying the exact same thing about GTA as sony are saying about COD
All this news and dragging it out is pointless though, the deal will get done and call of duty will stay multiplatform along with diablo and overwatch, so sony do not need to worry so much as if their customers are loyal then they would stick with playstation and pay for the games
@UltimateOtaku91 Phil is not that hypocritical. Phil publicly congratulated Sony on the Bungie acquisition. And we know Phil is an active Destiny player.
At this point, I think Phil much rather Sony owns a game, than pay for it to be exclusive as they doing with FFXVI and Forespoken.
No, Xbox and Phil would congratulate them. Destiny 2 is one of the most played games on all platforms. Sony bought the parent company, and said they'd keep it multi. It's the most direct comparison we have and MS didn't do what you said they'd do.
@Richnj you think Microsoft would complain about Sony buying bungie when they're currently in the process of buying a much larger more expensive publisher after already buying zenimax ? lol
@Would_you_kindly I wouldn't expect it even if they wasn't, as well. Sony were paying for full and timed exclusives for decades and I don't recall MS whining about it.
Xbox seems to know better than to throw stones in glass houses.
The irony is that Sony have a glass house twice as large as Xbox and they started launching stones.
@Richnj ms have also been paying for full & timed exclusives for decades as I'm sure you know it's not something only Sony does
@Would_you_kindly yes. That would be implied with the glass house analogy.
And I've seen a lot of "well, well, MS do it too!!" but that's not the issue. Hell, timed exclusives can be completely justifiable since plenty of timed exclusives (GTA 3, Titanfall, Tomb Raider, Stalker 2) may never have come to life if not for the support of the platform holder.
And that's not even what we are talking about in this case. Sony (the market leader) paid to keep COD (long established money making franchise) off of, not xbox, but Game Pass. They are spending money to hurt a rival service instead of pouring it in to their own service. They are actively paying to worsen both services. And that's still not the issue at hand here.
The issue here, is that MS is doing what MS and Sony have always done, and because it's COD and game pass (because you'll notice that Sony wasn't concerned so much about anything else, even the ones that went exclusive, and Sony's terms specifically blocked Game Pass), Sony have pants'd themselves and tried to make a case for why COD should never be allowed to be made exclusive, and all MS did was turn around and go "but that's what you do". Pointing out Sony's hypocrisy and people have dog piled MS for it.
I mean, if Sony weren't paying to hobble Game Pass, they may have to actually compete with it and provide and better service for PSPlus subs, and it's Sony being the hypocrites in this case, but I still have you out here insulating Sony from genuine criticism.
@Richnj you think Microsoft wouldn't have said cod can't go on ps plus if they had the marketing rights in the subscription era lol
Kind of suck for sony but microsoft had the ip, they can do anything with it, nintendo can survive without cod so sony should be able to survive too.
Maybe sony shouldn't ported their exclusives to pc, nintendo is smarter, their exclusives are one of the reasons why people bought nintendo switch despite already having ps5 or xbox.
@CrazyJF I think Diablo 4 is so close to release it’s likely coming to all planned platforms even if the deal closes before the launch.
I would not expect a hypothetical Diablo 5 on anything but Xbox and PC, but that likely won’t exist within the lifetime of the XSX or PS5.
@Would_you_kindly Probably, but what I don't see is MS doing a thing, and then complaining about the competition doing it too, just to cripple them.
I don't know what we're doing with this "so you think... Lol" gotcha BS that deflects from the issues I'm bringing up, but I am bored of it now.
@Richnj Microsoft is complaining that Sony have been blocking cod from going to gamepass & are now buying the publisher & blocking any chance of it ever going on ps plus how is that not hypocritical
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