In a detailed document published by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, Sony told them the Call of Duty franchise under Microsoft could see a differentiation between Xbox and PlayStation versions if the proposed Activision-Blizzard acquisition happens. That would mean "extra content," "exclusive features to the Xbox versions," and more that Sony believes will "influence gamers' choice of console."
The CMA is one of the regulating bodies continuing to scrutinize Microsoft's massive acquisition deal, focused on the harm it could do to PlayStation and other game subscription services. Microsoft stated it had "no intention to take Call of Duty away from gamers" and not "tarnish both the Call of Duty and Xbox brands" to the CMA.
Despite their claim, Sony is continuing to push back against the notion of the companies merging. Mainly due to the future of CoD, which would stay under the PlayStation umbrella for several years, but Sony suspects "even if Microsoft is true to its word on keeping the series multi-format" that they would try to differentiate their version from others.
"Gamers may expect that CoD on Xbox will include extra content and enhanced interoperability with the console hardware," Sony told the CMA. "In addition to any benefits from membership in Xbox Game Pass...these factors are likely to influence gamers' choice of console."
The exclusive differentiation between platform versions is a Sony staple business model when you look at past Call of Duty console benefits for players on PlayStation. The thought that Microsoft would pull an identical marketing strategy that gives its fans free items and other benefits for CoD would be scary for Sony. Even worse is if it traipsed into Xbox Game Pass, which Sony definitely can't compete with at the current stage of PlayStation Plus.
After constant denial from Microsoft on not going exclusive with CoD, do you think they'll pull a switcharoo down the line and follow the steps of Sony? Let us know below!
About the Author
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.
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