Microsoft wants PlayStation to become like Nintendo, claims Sony
These statements were made by Sony in response to Microsoft pointing out the success of Nintendo who do not require Call of Duty to remain competitive. Sony said that the comment made by Microsoft 'ignores the facts'.
Microsoft’s proposed acquisition deal for Activision Blizzard is on standby as regulatory bodies across the globe are investigating if this deal will hurt the competitive balance in the video games market. Currently, the UK regulatory body Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the matter in-depth.
Microsoft wants to turn PlayStation into Nintendo
There have been several statements from Microsoft and Sony that have been submitted to the UK regulatory body so far. The most recent documents submitted by Sony alleged that Microsoft’s “true strategy” is to turn PlayStation into Nintendo.
“Microsoft claims that Nintendo’s differentiated model demonstrates that PlayStation doesn’t need Call of Duty to compete effectively. But this reveals Microsoft’s true strategy,” wrote Sony. They added, “Microsoft wants PlayStation to become like Nintendo, so that it would be a less close and effective competitor to Xbox.”
These statements were made by Sony in response to Microsoft pointing out the success of Nintendo who do not require Call of Duty to remain competitive. Sony said that the comments made by Microsoft ‘ignores the facts’.
Sony believes that after this deal goes through, “ Xbox would become the one-stop-shop for all the best-selling shooter franchises on console (Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, + Doom, Overwatch), as the Decision explains, and it would then be free from serious competitive pressure.”
Call of Duty's value for PlayStation
The company once again emphasised on the importance of Call of Duty to PlayStation and the value it provides to the console makers. Sony Interactive Entertainment claimed Call of Duty is “critical” to PlayStation.
“The franchise is firmly entrenched in gamers’ psyche: every instalment since Call of Duty was first released back in 2003 has consistently topped the charts. Ignoring these facts, Microsoft argues that Nintendo has been successful without access to Call of Duty,” reads the statement.
Sony elaborated, “This misses the point. The Decision identifies a wide body of evidence showing that Nintendo offers a differentiated experience to Xbox and PlayStation because it is focused on family-friendly games that are very different from PEGI 18 FPS games like Call of Duty.”
Microsoft would increase game prices, alleges Sony
Sony also claimed that this deal would empower Microsoft so much that it’ll hurt independent developers. The company believes this deal would lead to Microsoft increasing the prices of games, hardware and subscriptions.
Sony went on to reveal an interesting fact about valuable Call of Duty truly is, at least for them. “Post-transaction, Microsoft would control Activision content which drives [redacted] times as much user engagement on PlayStation than all of SIE’s best performing first-party titles put together.”
FTC could file antitrust case against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard
Amid all of this, Politico has published a report that the Federal Trade Commission is “likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of video game giant Activision Blizzard”.
The report also mentions that “a lawsuit challenging the deal is not guaranteed” but the FTC is preparing for such a step. They’ve already done “much of the heavy lifting” like receiving deposition from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick. If FTC were to file an antitrust case, it would be on the grounds that Microsoft would gain an unfair advantage in the gaming industry.