Sony Says Microsoft/ActiBlizz Deal Would Have Major Negatives for Gamers; Microsoft Reiterates CoD Wouldn’t Be Exclusive

Call of Duty microsoft activision blizzard take two

As reported earlier this month, the United Kingdom's Competition and Market Authority (CMA) decided to extend its probe into the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal, and that decision has unsurprisingly garnered the approval of rival Sony. A spokesperson commented to GamesIndustry.biz:

By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.

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Microsoft quickly countered Sony's statement by reiterating, as it has done multiple times over since the deal's announcement, that it wouldn't be beneficial to remove the Call of Duty franchise from PlayStation platforms.

It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position.

This all comes after the European Union regulator is also looking to extend its investigation into the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal while we're still waiting for the official response of the United States' FTC.

In related news, Microsoft's Head of Gaming Phil Spencer talked to CNBC yesterday about the industry's extremely high activity in the M&A segment. He stated that market leaders Tencent and Sony continue to invest and acquire, and as such, Microsoft will, too.

This is such a competitive market. I don't think we get to press pause on anything. Tencent is the largest gaming company on the planet today and they continue to heavily invest in gaming content and game creators. Sony is a larger business than we are in gaming today and they continue to invest. When you look at the investments that we've made, it's a highly, highly competitive market. We strive to be a major player here. We want to deliver great content for our players and we're going to remain active. Like I said, whether that's investing in our internal teams that are already building great games that people know and love. Whether it's building new partnerships.

One of the things I love about coming here to Tokyo is the developers. I get to meet with the new partnerships we have with people like Kojima Productions and going to talk with some of our existing publishing partners and independent creators about games that we want to build. And if it turns into acquisitive M&A work, we're active there too. So the work for us never ends. It's a competitive market and I want to make sure Xbox is at the forefront of innovation and competition.

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Call of Duty Will Stay on PlayStation for ‘Several More Years’ According to Microsoft Letter to Sony

Indeed, Spencer explicitly talked nearly three years ago about acquiring Asian game developers. That hasn't happened yet, but it definitely still could, judging from his latest comments.

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