There were a few more interesting sentences in Sony's document relating to the Call of Duty situation. The company advocated giving the brand total parity on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, citing very firm comments from Sony Interactive Entertainment head Jim Ryan. He said that "negative changes in the price, performance or quality of the PlayStation edition or any delays in release would quickly damage SIE's reputation and cause a loss of engagement and players." As Jim Ryan explained, if PlayStation received an inferior version of Call of Duty, "it would seriously damage the company's reputation. Our players would leave our platform en masse, and the side effects would exacerbate the problem. Our business would never recover".
On March 24 we informed that the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had issued a statement, in which it tentatively concluded that the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard would not reduce the competitiveness of PlayStation consoles against Xboxes.
The regulator based this conclusion on the potential financial losses that the Redmond giant would suffer after the possible discontinuation of the Call of Duty series on Sony devices. These would be significantly higher than the revenue Microsoft would get selling more CoD games on PlayStation.
"An irrational decision," Sony claims
The following response of Sony to this statement was made public today, in which the company said that this preliminary decision by the CMA is "surprising, unprecedented and irrational."
The Japanese argue that the data relied on by the British regulator is wrong. They are supposed to show that gamers that spending less than 10 hours or less than $100 on a given installment of Call of Duty will see no reason to swap a PlayStation for an Xbox. Sony disagrees.
In addition, company representatives said that CMA did not take into account how much money can be spent on a particular Call of Duty installment by the most committed gamers, nor the benefits Microsoft would reap from the series once it is included in Game Pass.
"Call of Duty could share the fate of Redfall"
What's more, Sony used a recent statement by Harvey Smith from Arkane Studios as evidence that the Redmond giant may abandon publishing the Call of Duty series on PlayStation altogether. Recall that the developer cited the situation when supposedly after the acquisition of Bethesda (which owns Arkane) by Microsoft, the team working on the upcoming Redfall was instructed to focus on PC and XSX/S versions of the game, and abandon the one for PS5.
The Redmond giant has denied Smith's words, claiming that the company did not take any PlayStation game off the table. In addition, Microsoft pointed out that Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo - also games released by Bethesda - were temporary PS5 exclusives.
"Call of Duty is not Minecraft"
These words, however, Sony did not addres. Instead, the company picked up on a statement by Xbox brand chief Phil Spencer, who some time ago assured that Microsoft will not stop releasing Call of Duty on PlayStation, but will increase the number of devices on which the series can be played - just as it did with Minecraft. The Japanese believe that in the case of that game such a move made sense, as it lacks microtransactions and is focused mainly on single player mode. According to Sony, with Call of Duty the Redmond giant may do things quite differently.
Finale coming soon
Responding to Sony's statement, Microsoft once again denied the intentions it is attributed. Will the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority take note of the Japanese comments and change its mind? We will find out on April 26, by which time the CMA is expected to reveal its final decision.