According to the New York Times Microsoft is trying to persuade Sony not to resist an agreement between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. Microsoft reportedly offered Sony a 10-year deal on Call of Duty games on November 11, 2022, to which Sony simply did not respond.
Moreover, according to the New York Times, Sony seems to be going around the regulators of different countries and using the Call of Duty series as leverage, trying to convince them to recognize the agreement between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard as illegal.
Microsoft, for its part, is trying to prove to regulators that the deal mostly concerns mobile games, where Microsoft is lagging behind, especially against the backdrop of some Chinese Tencent. The merger with Activision will seemingly give the company the tools it needs to bring Xbox games to a whole new audience of players on smartphones and tablets. As a reminder, 50% of the gaming market, namely $92.2 billion goes to mobile games.
Sony, on the other hand, continues to complain that Microsoft already has a “history” of “dominance” in various industries, while at the same time claiming that “player choice will disappear”, without explaining exactly what kind of choice it is. By dominance, Sony obviously means the market for operating systems and browsers, which, ironically enough, Microsoft hasn’t dominated for a long time.
It is clear that Sony is not actually concerned with Call of Duty, whose business model is focused precisely on making the game available on all platforms. The Japanese gaming giant is worried about the Xbox Game Pass, which for $10 a month gives players access to many games, including Call of Duty, while Sony itself is focused on selling each game for the full amount of $70 dollars. The choice of players who are already used to subscriptions to streaming services is understandable.
Therefore, Sony is not commenting on Microsoft’s proposal for Call of Duty, it is literally their last trump card, which they continue to brandish in front of the regulators. A real Mexican melodrama!