Sony’s legal team just fired a stray at the Battlefield franchise, claiming EA’s long-running FPS series simply “cannot keep up” with Activision’s gargantuan Call of Duty.
As Microsoft pushes forward with its historic $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Sony attempts to hinder their progress by placing roadblocks along the way. Although Xbox leads have assured the publisher’s biggest titles, namely Call of Duty, will remain on PlayStation hardware moving forward, Sony is still looking to challenge the process at every turn.
After all, CoD is an unstoppable force that continues to sell an exorbitant number of copies year in, year out. Most recently, Modern Warfare 2 topped $800m in sales over just three days, breaking records as the biggest launch in series history. With CoD being most popular on PlayStation hardware, a chunk of that revenue goes to Sony, thus, any threat to that income is taken seriously.
With multiple governing bodies launching investigations into the legality of the unprecedented merger, Sony has publicized its arguments in opposition of the buyout. In doing so, their legal team looked to underscore the importance of CoD to their business. This came at the cost of firing a jab at an unsuspecting Battlefield, initially highlighted by PCGamer.
“Other publishers do not have the resources or expertise to match [CoD’s] success,” Sony’s legal team claimed.
Evidently, no other FPS franchise has managed to come close to Activision’s annual cycle of generating buzz with Call of Duty launches. The legal reps chose to exemplify this fact by honing in on Battlefield.
“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”
Evidently, nothing here is incorrect. CoD massively outsells Battlefield when the two compete in any given calendar year. CoD enjoys an annual cycle, while Battlefield has never quite matched that pace. Just three Battlefield titles have launched in the past six years, halving the output of its rival in CoD.
Ultimately, just shy of 89 million sales is nothing to scoff at. Other floundering FPS titles could only dream of reaching EA’s comparative success. But in the shadow of CoD, even Sony’s legal team recognizes nothing else comes close to Activision’s ongoing juggernaut.