In response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision to expand their investigation into the deal, Sony claims Microsoft's "true strategy" is to “make PlayStation like Nintendo” with an uncompetitive 18-rated shooter library. Furthermore, they believe if the deal goes through, it will “hurt developers and lead to price rises.”
Inside a 22-page document, Sony’s claims paint a future where Microsoft could hold an incredible amount of sway over the direction of the industry. Notably, Sony believes the deal could make users leave the PlayStation’s ecosystem and reduce its competition in the shooter space. If Microsoft makes Call of Duty exclusive after their decade deal to keep the series on PlayStation, Sony argues its gaming system would become “like Nintendo." The PlayStation would lack prominent FPS titles that could stand toe-to-toe with the CoD franchise.
“Post-Transaction, Xbox would become the one-stop-shop for all the best-selling shooter franchises on console (Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, Doom, Overwatch)…and it would then be free from serious competitive pressure.”
Sony also claims Microsoft’s exclusive grip over the “irreplaceable” CoD series and other Activision content would harm independent developers and could hike up prices for games, hardware, and subscriptions. According to the CMA’s findings that Activision’s and Microsoft’s games account for 30-40% of all minutes played on consoles in the UK, Sony argues that Microsoft gaining sole control over the CoD publisher would harm consumers, competitors, and independent developers. In addition, it would make users jump ship from the PlayStation ecosystem in favor of Xbox and/or Game Pass.
“Faced with weaker competition, Microsoft would be able to: increase console and game prices for Xbox users (including those that switched from PlayStation): increase the price of Game Pass, and reduce innovation and quality…Microsoft’s foreclosure strategy would lock in many consumers to Xbox.”
Sony added Xbox and/or Game Pass would “become a critical distribution channel for independent developers. In that weakened negotiating position, independent developers would likely receive worse terms for their content from Microsoft or even be required to promise exclusivity in return for distribution, thereby diminishing independent developers’ ability and incentive to invest in high-quality new games.”
In the wake of their concerns over the deal, Sony is confident the CMA will seek to prohibit Microsoft’s acquisition when their investigations conclude on March 1, 2023. The CMA will publish its in-depth findings into the deal but will focus on scrutinizing any anti-competitive outcomes if the acquisition happens. Overall, the coming months will likely continue the back-and-forth commentary between Sony and Microsoft before we know the status of the proposed deal.
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.
After Old Questionable Tweets Resurface, Avenger’s Lead Designer Brian Waggoner No Longer Spokesperson For Crystal Dynamics
The decision is in response to old tweets of Waggoner’s that have been resurfaced.By QuintLyn Bowers - 10 months ago
You May Enjoy
SAG-AFTRA Members Authorize Strike Against Video Game Developers
That doesn’t mean it’s happening just yet.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 day ago
Ubisoft Montreal Implements New Partial Return-To-The-Office Policy For Employees
This decision contradicts the company's earlier stance, when it expressed a desire for a hybrid working model.By Matthew D'Onofrio - 1 week ago
Here's What You Need To Know About The Deceive Inc. Private Lobby Beta Update
Besides lobbies that support up to 12 players, the patch fixes various issues too.By Matthew D'Onofrio - 6 days ago
Earn 24 Limited-Time Cosmetics During Apex Legends’ Harbingers Event
Do it by taking out your enemies with a target-seeking grenade.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
TGS 2023: Yoshi-P Provides More Details On Patch 6.5 In PLL 79
You have about a week to get all your pre-patch stuff done.By QuintLyn Bowers - 3 days ago
New World Takes You On A Deep Dive Of The Newest Expedition, The Savage Divide
Players must band together to protect Aeternum.By Troy Blackburn - 2 days ago