Game News Call of Duty: Microsoft is ready to solve the problem once and for all to ensure the acquisition of Activision Blizzard!
It will soon be a year since we talk about the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King by Microsoft. It must be said that the case is complex, both in terms of the transaction value and the weight it will give to Microsoft in gaming. A take that didn’t look good on Sony, especially because of Call of Duty.
Call of Duty: when a license can be the pivot of a 70 billion acquisition
Call of Duty is a huge license, and the billion dollars made in 10 days by Modern Warfare 2 only proves it. After more than 15 years of landing on our consoles and PC every year, the franchise experience only minor slowdowns when a period is not so good, and all that is needed is a warm welcome and everything starts again. For several years now, Sony is a partner of the license.
Communication around games is done by PlayStation, some content comes in advance, and betas are playable first on Sony consoles. A condition that can change, because Call of Duty belongs to Activision, which Microsoft wants to buy for almost 70 billion that dollar. But this idea not pleasing Sony at allwho announced it through declarations, press releases, and meetings with market regulators, who, for their part, must validate or not the operation.
Sony’s arguments, which consist of saying that Microsoft can be very powerful and that the Call of Duty license is a big lever in terms of competitionrejected by Brazil and Saudi Arabia, but heard by the UK’s CMA, and the European Commission. The two regulators gave an initial negative opinion on the acquisition, citing the Call of Duty case in their reports. However, this does not mean that acquisition is not possible, these organizations are launching an in-depth investigation to obtain more elements and to analyze each point of the file.
Microsoft is ready to make concessions in the long term!
With tensions surrounding the Activision Blizzard King takeover crystallizing around Call of Duty, this is what Phil Spencer is asking, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming. Apparently, the boss of the Xbox brand is tired of this concern, and seeks to settle this once and for all. Over the past few weeks, he has repeatedly said that the idea of denying other platforms the license to Call of Duty. is commercially absurdand that Microsoft does not not the intention to make the license exclusive.
This speech did not reassure the regulators or Sony, so Phil Spencer go into high gear. In a new interview with The Verge, the executive said there was no question “Pull the rug out from under the PlayStation 7 by saying ‘hahaha, we didn’t do a long-term contract’. He added that no contract lasts forever, and so maybe that should come, or at least, run a contract for a long time.
I think the idea of writing a contract that says “forever” is a bit ridiculous, but I have no problem making a longer term commitment that is fine with Sony and the regulator. Call of Duty native to PlayStation, not linked to Game Pass, no streaming. If they want a streaming version of Call of Duty, we can do that too, just like we do on our own consoles.
I have nothing to hide behind my back. It’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare II that’s great on PlayStation, that’s great on Xbox. Like the next game, the finish (and so on). (All this is) native to the platform, without having to subscribe to Game Pass. Sony doesn’t need to add Game Pass to its platform for this to happen. Nothing is hidden. We want to continue to offer Call of Duty on PlayStation without any element of surprise (…). I understand some people’s concerns about this, and I’m just trying to be as clear as possible.
Microsoft also confirmed the file it filed with regulators that continuing to offer Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles is a necessity commercial for the activity of the Xbox brand, but also for the “transaction economy”. “Microsoft has made it clear that it relies on revenue from the distribution of Activision Blizzard games on Sony PlayStation”, can we read. It remains to be seen whether Sony will agree to sign an extended agreement, if the manufacturer maintains its position despite Microsoft’s proposals. Let us remember that the European Union must decide not later than March 31, 2023and that the FTC (United States), may give its verdict in the coming weeks.