Sony is clearly concerned about Call Of Duty going Xbox only, believing its popularity is unrivalled by any other gaming franchise.
Despite Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, the Call Of Duty franchise is still expected to make appearances on PlayStation consoles. However, this is largely due to contracts that were made prior to the buy-out and may change in the future.
Nothing’s been officially confirmed, but those contracts will reportedly expire by 2024. This means there’ll then be nothing to stop Microsoft from keeping Call Of Duty all to itself as an Xbox exclusive; something Sony is evidently worried about.
In fact, the company has stated that it considers Call Of Duty to be so popular that it can influence people into choosing one console over another. Basically, if Call Of Duty becomes an Xbox-only series, Sony fears that loyal PlayStation customers will jump ship to Xbox.
This comes from Sony’s response to Brazil’s regulatory body regarding the aforementioned Activision acquisition. As a reminder, Microsoft doesn’t actually own the company yet; the deal still needs approval from multiple regulators, such as the Federal Trade Commission in the US.
This is to ensure that the deal doesn’t violate antitrust laws and create a monopoly for Microsoft. Back in April, many Wall Street investors even bet that the deal will be blocked for those reasons.
Brazil’s review process already happened in May, but it has since published the entire thing online for everyone to read. This includes statements from other companies including, but not limited to, Sony, Warner Bros., and Amazon.
Everything’s in Portuguese, but one ResetEra user has translated the responses and summarised them, with Sony’s answers being the most noteworthy.
It thinks that no other gaming franchise can rival Call Of Duty’s popularity, perhaps insinuating that it doesn’t think simply making a PlayStation-only alternative would be enough to win people over (it certainly didn’t work with Killzone).
Plus, Call Of Duty makes a lot of money for Sony and is even described as one of Sony’s biggest sources of revenue from third party companies. So, if Call Of Duty goes exclusive, that’s money Sony’s losing.
What do you think?
You can tell how important Sony considers Call Of Duty to be in that they’ve had a marketing deal with Activision all generation, which favours PlayStation over Xbox. This is the deal that will end in 2024 and which previously Activision had with Microsoft during the Xbox 360 era.
The other companies don’t seem as fussed about it, saying that there are enough Call Of Duty competitors out there, such as the Battlefield and Rainbow Six games. Ubisoft outright says Activision’s games aren’t unique.
Microsoft hasn’t mentioned anything about Call Of Duty becoming Xbox only. However, it’s always worth remembering that it suggested that not all Bethesda games would go exclusive in the run-up to its acquisition, and then changed its mind once it actually happened.
Since then, none of Bethesda’s upcoming games have been given PlayStation release dates and are so far only planned for Xbox. Xbox boss Phil Spencer also later admitted that the Bethesda acquisition was purely to get exclusives for Xbox Game Pass.
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