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News video games 09 March 2023, 13:35

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Sony Suggests Microsoft Could Sabotage Call of Duty on PlayStation

Bugs, missing features and a higher price of Call of Duty. Such ploys, according to Sony, may be used by Microsoft to discourage gamers from PlayStation after Activision Blizzard acquisition.

The final verdicts on Activision Blizzard aquisition are yet to come. In the meantime, Sony and Microsoft continue to exchange "arguments". For example the Japanese giant believes that Microsoft could sabotage the new installments of Call of Duty, to discourage gamers from PlayStation.

Such a statement was made in a document released by the UK's consumer protection authority (CMA). It relates to Sony's comments on the agency's recent report on Activision Blizzard deal, including proposed actions that could enable the deal to potentially threaten competition in the gaming market.

Sony Suggests Microsoft Could Sabotage Call of Duty on PlayStation - picture #1
Sony does not believe that Microsoft will not try to use Call of Duty to gain an advantage in the console market. Source: Activision Blizzard.

Of course, Sony believes that the CMA should block this purchase altogether, unless there is a significant "restructuring" of AB. This would be to ensure that Activision Blizzard's "core content" - including the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft brands - would remain independent of Microsoft. Especially since, according to Sony, the Redmond giant is notorious for reneging on commitments imposed by regulators.

SIE goes on to enumerate actions that could be used by Microsoft to limit competition, i.e. giving Xboxes an advantage over PlayStation consoles. These include increasing the price of Call of Duty on Sony's platforms, but also making new games in the series run worse on PlayStation than on Xboxes. For example, on the former CoD would have more bugs.

Sony also mentions the possible exclusivity of selected features in the new CoD games. SIE points out that, in principle, it would be impossible to monitor Microsoft's actions to prevent this kind of thing.

What's more, even if such "faults" were detected, it would probably happen after the release (especially if the bugs appeared only at later stages of gameplay). According to Sony, the next installments of Call of Duty sell best in the first weeks after release, and reports of bugs absent on Xboxes could effectively discourage gamers from buying CoD on PlayStation (and thus the console as well):

"For example Microsoft may release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty, in which bugs appear only at the final level or after later updates.

Even if such degradations could be detected quickly, any countermeasures would come too late [...].

If it had become clear that the game's performance on PlayStation was worse than on Xbox, Call of Duty players might decide to switch to Xbox - for fear of playing their favorite game on a second-rate or less competitive platform.

In short, Sony does not believe Microsoft's offers intended to give PlayStation owners access to Call of Duty. It is therefore demanding either that Activision Blizzard deal be blocked or, as the US agency suggested, that the company be significantly restructured.

CMA will summarize its investigation on April 26, the day after the scheduled decision on the matter by the European Commission.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with GRYOnline.pl in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).

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