Sony concerned about sabotage of Call of Duty on PlayStation by Xbox

Sony fears that Microsoft could sabotage the PlayStation versions of Call of Duty if Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard.

As originally reported in The Verge, Sony has submitted documents to the UK Competition and Markets Authority indicating that Microsoft may be taking various steps to make Call of Duty’s PlayStation license unattractive. For example, increasing the price of games, prioritizing the development of the Xbox version, or releasing a buggy version of games on the PlayStation.

“Microsoft may release a version of Call of Duty for the PlayStation, in which bugs and errors appear only at the final level of the game or after subsequent updates. the gaming community would have lost faith in the PlayStation as a platform to play Call of Duty,” explains Sony in the documents.

Sony continues: “Indeed, as evidenced by Modern Warfare II, Call of Duty is most often purchased in the first weeks after release. If we knew that the performance of a game on PlayStation is worse than on Xbox, Call of Duty players might decide to switch to Xbox for fear of playing their favorite game on a second-rate or less competitive version.”

Sony claims that if the merger were to go through, Microsoft would have had an incentive to fail Call of Duty on the PlayStation, as well as take a higher share of the revenue from its content, than if Activision were an independent entity. In addition, Sony claims that neither the company nor the CMA will be able to control the quality of Call of Duty to ensure that the PlayStation version receives a fair distribution of development resources from Microsoft.

The fight goes on

Call of Duty has been a key battleground between PlayStation and Xbox since the announcement of the Activision Blizzard merger. Xbox initially offered PlayStation a three-month extension to existing contracts, but PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan called the offer “inadequate”.

Xbox’s Phil Spencer has repeatedly stated that as long as the PlayStation exists, Call of Duty will continue to be released on its consoles.

Microsoft recently signed a 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo devices on the same day as Xbox devices with full feature parity, as well as another 10-year deal to make their PC games available on Nvidia’s GeForce Now service. It’s unclear if these actions will be enough to push the deal through, but rumors are circulating that EU regulators are close to approving it.

Erwan Lafleriel is the editor-in-chief of IGN France. A video game slave for 40 years, he only occasionally escapes to mourn his defeats on Twitter.

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