Sony fears “broken features” on future PlayStation CoD titles if Microsoft acquires Activision

Microsoft / Sony

Sony disapproves of Microsoft purchasing Activision and argued future CoD titles on PlayStation could include “bugs and broken features.”

CharlieINTEL reported on February 21 that PlayStation, Google, NVIDIA, and other gaming companies spoke to EU regulators, sharing their thoughts on Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft successfully struck 10-year deals with Nintendo and Nvidia, promising Activision Blizzard titles on their platforms if the deal goes through. However, according to GameIndustry Biz, Sony opposed a 10-year contract to keep CoD on PlayStation.

Lulu Cheng Meservey, Activision Blizzard CCO, took to social media and accused Sony of undermining the deal to “protect its two-decade dominance in gaming.” This comes after a report in early February suggested Sony cut off communication with Microsoft regarding the potential Activision Blizzard merger.

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Sony labels Microsoft’s offer for CoD on PlayStation “unviable”

On March 8, CharlieINTEL reported, “Sony’s response to the latest CMA findings has also been shared— Sony says Microsoft’s offer for CoD on PS+ is ‘unviable’ and says Microsoft could include ‘bugs and broken features’ on the PS version to incentivize Xbox purchases.”

In the CMA findings, Sony argued, “Microsoft might release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty where bugs and errors emerge only on the game’s final level or after updates.”

“If it became known that the game’s performance on PlayStation was worse than on Xbox, Call of Duty gamers could decide to switch to Xbox, for fear of playing their favorite game at a second-class or less competitive venue.”

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Sony is one of several roadblocks still standing in the way of Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard. EU antitrust regulators confirmed a decision by March 23, 2023, whether to clear or block the deal. The UK CMA and US FTC need to make decisions as well.

Meservey remains confident in the regulators approving Microsoft’s acquisition, and Xbox head, Phil Spencer also expressed confidence.