One argument against Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard involved Sony calling out the Battlefield series as a slightly unflattering example of how any potential challenger to Call of Duty would likely be “unsuccessful.”
Both Microsoft and Sony shared lengthy responses to the Issues Statement from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) about the Activision Blizzard deal, with each attempting to make its own argument. One continually contested point is the importance of Call of Duty to PlayStation players and how they might be affected should the franchise become an Xbox exclusive. In its discussion of this point, Sony points to the Battlefield series as an example of how any challenger to the Call of Duty series would “more than likely be unsuccessful.”
There was the Battlefield series, minding its own business and playing quietly in the corner, when all of a sudden it finds itself dragged into the middle of the ongoing dispute over Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, with Sony apparently hauling it up as an example of how any Call of Duty competitors might be unsuccessful. While discussing the impact of potentially losing Call of Duty on PlayStation, Sony says, “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.”
Sony also said that Microsoft’s public statements “should be treated with extreme scepticism”, while Microsoft goes for another angle and argues that neither Xbox nor Game Pass are such dominant market forces that they could be viewed as a threat to the competition, saying “Game Pass does not have any market power.”
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