Call Of Duty Killing The Gaming Industry?

Sony is claiming that Microsoft's latest Call of Duty offer would irreparably harm competition and innovation within the gaming industry.

By Jason Collins | Published

call of duty: modern warfare 2 warzone

Sony is claiming that Microsoft’s latest Call of Duty offer to deliver the gaming franchise to Sony’s gaming hardware would irreparably harm competition and innovation within the gaming industry. As per our previous report, Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year deal to deliver future installments in the Call of Duty franchise to Sony’s gaming hardware. This news comes as part of Sony’s strong opposition to Microsoft’s historic acquisition of Activision Blizzard (ABK), which also potentially revealed a launch date for PlayStation 6.

According to IGN, following the public release of documents both Sony and Microsoft had to deliver to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Sony released a statement saying that Microsoft’s current offer is bad for competition. The deal involved Microsoft delivering Call of Duty on the PlayStation platform for the next decade. Sony also stated that certain details of the agreement were redacted at the request of Microsoft and that the company is skeptical about whether an agreement with Microsoft could be reached, monitored, and enforced effectively.

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Apparently, the Japanese console and game maker is worried that Microsoft would, if the acquisition goes through, tamper with the PlayStation version of Call of Duty. This could potentially involve an increased price for the PlayStation version of the game, lowering the quality of said version, not investing in multiplayer support and experience on PlayStation, or making the game exclusive to its Game Pass service—which is already better than PlayStation’s offering.  

Well, Sony’s concerns sound quite reasonable—Microsoft charging extra for Call of Duty on PlayStation is the utmost disregard for fair treatment and competition. That’s probably why Sony is charging $29.99 for 2018’s God of War Digital Deluxe Edition on PlayStation Store and $49.99 on Steam for PC users. It really seems appropriate for PC gamers to pay extra to play a PC version of God of War, a game developed by Sony’s first-party studio and published by Sony itself—we’re obviously being sarcastic.  

Sony also didn’t miss an opportunity to call Microsoft out, stating that the tech giant hasn’t shown any commitment to reaching a negotiated outcome with Sony. Apparently, Microsoft drags its feet and only engages the company when they sense that the regulatory outlook may be less favorable, favoring media negotiations rather than engaging Sony Interactive Entertainment directly. It only goes to show how easy it is to negotiate from the position of strength—Sony is far from being the dominating force in the gaming industry it once was, which is why it’s as vocal as it is.

Let’s remember that Sony openly called players to switch to PlayStation if they wanted to play exclusives. However, now that Microsoft has finally turned the tables on its rival—primarily by outselling PlayStation in its domestic market and by offering better gaming deals overall—Sony finds it rather fair to voice its concerns regarding competition and innovation, or lack thereof, if the powers that be approve of the acquisition. Also, why would Microsoft ban Call of Duty from PlayStation? Earning commissions from Sony’s PlayStation Store would be much funnier.