How Sony is ‘using’ this video game series to block Microsoft’s biggest acqusition

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Microsoft’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard has been under scrutiny in various markets, including the UK where Competition and Market Authority (CMA) is investigating it. Microsoft‘s competitor in the gaming space Sony has been trying hard to get regulators to block the acquisition and it has now submitted its arguments against the deal.
PC Gamer reports that in its submission, Sony has thrown the Battlefield video game series, published by Electronic Arts (EA), under the bus. The Japanese company’s lawyers in their submission claim that EA has been trying to produce a rival to Call of Duty (COD) with its Battlefield series but the franchise cannot keep up.
Here’s what Sony said in its submission:
Call of Duty is not replicable. Call of Duty is too entrenched for any rival, no matter how well-equipped, to catch up. It has been the top-selling game for almost every year in the last decade and, in the first-person shooter (‘FPS’) genre, it is overwhelmingly the top-selling game. Other publishers do not have the resources or expertise to match its success. To give a concrete example, Electronic Arts — one of the largest third-party developers after Activision — has tried for many years to produce a rival to Call of Duty with its Battlefield series. Despite the similarities between Call of Duty and Battlefield — and despite EA’s track record in developing other successful AAA franchises (such as FIFA, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, and Star Wars: Battlefront) — the Battlefield franchise cannot keep up. As of August 2021, more than 400 million Call of Duty games had been sold, while Battlefield had sold just 88.7 million copies.
Microsoft wants to keep COD on PlayStation
Microsoft’s gaming head Phil Spencer has, on multiple occasions, said that the company wants to keep Call of Duty games on PlayStation “as long as there’s a PlayStation out there to ship to.” Sony is arguing that after the acquisition, the Windows maker will control the franchise.
In fact, Microsoft President and Vice Chairman Brad Smith earlier said, “Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about ‘Call of Duty,’ but we’ve said we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation.”

FTC may file a lawsuit to block Microsoft-Activision deal
The development comes at the same time as a report by Politico citing people familiar with the matter said that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision Blizzard deal.
“We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won’t hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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