Microsoft’s plan to acquire Activision Blizzard is currently being reviewed by regulators around the world, and in Brazil, Sony’s official response to this government’s questions has been released. According to these documents, Sony believes that once Microsoft owns the Call of Duty franchise as part of the acquisition, it will have the power to influence users’ console choices.
“According to a 2019 study, the importance of Call of Duty to entertainment, in general, is indescribable,” the company said via a VGC Translation. “The brand was the only video game IP to enter the top 10 of all entertainment brands among fans, joining powerhouses such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Call of Duty is so popular that it influences users’ console choice, and its community of loyal users is deep enough that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, they wouldn’t be able to match it.”
Sony added that the level of investment Activision commits to every Call of Duty game is unmatched, and with a dedicated workforce spread across multiple dedicated studios, is one of the reasons the franchise is a annual bestseller. This level of success has in turn made Call of Duty an incredibly profitable franchise and a globally recognized brand, with a dedicated fanbase.
Last February, Microsoft reiterated its intention to continue developing Activision franchises for competing console platforms and said it would continue to support Call of Duty on PlayStation “beyond the existing agreement”. and in the future. Microsoft had previously confirmed that it would honor all existing publishing agreements, specifically 2022’s Modern Warfare 2, 2023’s Call of Duty: Warzone 2, and a new mainline Call of Duty release in late 2023.
Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard was announced in January 2022 and is expected to be completed by June 2023, with US FTC approval expected later this month. Beyond this US regulator, the acquisition still needs to be approved by other government watchdog groups such as the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
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