Sony responds to Microsoft claim that Activision has no “must-have” games

Zackerie Fairfax
xbox head playstation head

In a clearance application for the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft argues that the developer has no “must have” games, but Sony argues otherwise.

In January of this year, Microsoft confirmed that it would be acquiring the video game holding company, Activision Blizzard. The company is known for its iconic franchises which include Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga, and Call of Duty.

Of course, the news was met with concern for fans of these franchises that were team PlayStation. As the console wars rage and Xbox confirmed its other acquired studios wouldn’t develop cross-platform games, CoD fans, in particular, were leery of the news.

But Microsoft would later confirm Call of Duty titles would continue to release on the PlayStation 5. Now, as we near the final steps in the acquisition process, Microsoft argues that there is “nothing unique” about the games Acti-Blizz develops. However, Sony has responded with an adverse opinion.

Sony and Microsoft argue Activision’s importance

In a clearance application to the Commerce Commission of New Zealand, Microsoft argued reasons why the commission should allow the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Among the 81-page document, Microsoft made a rather jarring argument. They stated, “With respect to Activision Blizzard video games, there is nothing unique about the video games developed and published by Activision Blizzard that is a ‘must have’ for rival PC and console video game distributors that could give rise to a foreclosure concern.”

But in order for the acquisition to be allowed, Microsoft also needs legal confirmation from competition regulators across the globe. The review process started in Brazil on May 20th, and one of the third-parties questioned was Sony.

xbox vs playstation

A recap of all of the questions and answers was posted to Resetera by user Idas. Sony was asked whether Activision Blizzard offered any titles that had no “close competition” and how the market would be affected if Acti-Blizz titles were to become Xbox exclusive.

Idas wrote, “Sony believes that none of these developers could create a franchise to rival Activision’s Call of Duty, which stands out as a gaming category on its own. That’s why they believe that Call of Duty is so popular that it influences users’ choice of console. In fact, their network of loyal users is so ingrained that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, it would not be able to create a rival.”

Of the competitors questioned, Sony offered the most negative responses. However, with Xbox already confirming that Call of Duty would remain playable on PlayStation consoles, Sony’s arguments are a moot point.

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