What you need to know
- Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw has claimed that Sony recently lied to European Union (EU) regulators with the cheats that went on to acquire Activision Blizzard.
- Specifically, Shaw says that Sony told the EU that Microsoft did not want to offer the PlayStation maker parity with Call of Duty, despite Microsoft previously offering a 10-year deal.
- Microsoft continues to argue that it wants to bring games to more people, not fewer, and that making Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive would be “against business logic.”
As Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues to draw close scrutiny from regulators, the company has alleged that PlayStation maker and one of the deal’s biggest rivals, Sony, recently lied to the European Union (EU) about its plans to call. Position. While Microsoft has committed to keeping the popular first-person shooter franchise on PlayStation after the merger closes, the firm said Sony has offered the opposite to Brussels officials. This comes as news The EU is reportedly planning to issue an antitrust warning to Microsoft about the deal.
“I heard that Sony is briefing people in Brussels claiming that if we buy Activision, Microsoft is unwilling to offer them parity for Call of Duty. Nothing could be further from the truth.” he wrote Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of communications. “We have made it clear that we are offering Sony a 10-year contract to provide parity in timing, content, features, quality, playability and any other aspects of the game. We have also indicated that we are happy to do so through contract, regulatory agreements or other means. can be held.”
Often home to countless players and hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, the Call of Duty series is arguably one of the biggest entertainment franchises in the world. Initially, Microsoft offered Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years after the Activision Blizzard acquisition was completed. CEO Jim Ryan called it “inadequate.” in the statement. Following this, Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year contract, the two companies are said to be meeting to discuss specific details. The exact outcome of those talks remains unknown, but based on Shaw’s public statements, it appears no agreement was reached.
We made it clear that we offered Sony a 10-year deal to give them parity in time, content, features, quality, playability and every other aspect of the game. We have also indicated that we are happy to do so by contract, regulatory agreements or other means. 2/4January 28, 2023
Microsoft has repeatedly stated that making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox consoles is not in line with its plans. Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said about it Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard primarily because of its dominant mobile gaming position, and that the firm “wants to be where the players are, especially with franchises the size of Minecraft and Call of Duty.” In an article, Microsoft president Brad Smith also wrote Making Call of Duty an exclusive would be “economically irrational” because “a significant portion of Activision Blizzard’s ‘Call of Duty’ revenue comes from PlayStation game sales.” Shaw repeats these arguments in his comments.
“Sony is the console market leader, and it would make no business sense for us to exclude PlayStation players from the Call of Duty ecosystem,” Shaw said. “Our goal is to bring Call of Duty and other games to more people around the world, like we did with Minecraft, so they can play wherever and however they want.”
Regulators are expected to make final decisions on the merger in the spring, with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) planning to share a preliminary decision in late January or February. The EU and CMA are set to deliver their judgments on April 11 and 26 respectively.
Notably, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already filed a lawsuit to block the deal, citing recently acquired Xbox and Windows PC exclusive games from ZeniMax, such as Starfield and Redfall, as examples of why the company should not be trusted. (Microsoft has never committed to making these games multi-platform). Earlier this week A report suggests the FTC may be timing its lawsuit to manipulate the EU and discourage the regulator from settling with Microsoft on its concerns about the deal.
Adoption of Windows Central
Between the FTC setting up a lawsuit against the merger to manipulate the EU into avoiding settlements with Microsoft and Sony, to Microsoft blatantly lying about its planned liabilities, it’s hard not to laugh at how ridiculous things have gotten. Assuming Shaw’s allegations are true, Sony’s anti-merger approach has reached a new level of bad faith. Reminds me of when the company was Microsoft has complained that it could raise Xbox prices after buying Activision Blizzardjust months after that has increased the price of its PS5 systems.
True, perhaps Microsoft itself is not being honest here. However, unlike Sony, it has been proven to be actually ready to come to the table, the company has repeatedly stated publicly that it is happy to work with regulators and negotiate with competitors. Note that Microsoft even Made 10-year commitments to bring Call of Duty to Steam and Nintendo Switch, indicating that Activision is ready to bring its flagship shooter to platforms other than itself. For these reasons, and Sony’s behavior thus far, I’m more inclined to believe Shaw’s claim.
At the end of the day, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Sony is willing to say or do whatever it takes to prevent a Microsoft buyout, and that now includes outright lying to regulators. So I ask this: who? indeed trying to beat the competition?