On January 18, 2022, after 2 pm Poland time, Microsoft revealed that it wanted to acquire Activision Blizzard and all the teams that are part of the company that produces brands such as Diablo, Crash Bandicoot, StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Call of Duty. The deal seems to have gone smoothly, but we’re in the second half of October, and the Redmond giant still has to fight for the company.
After the deal was announced behind the scenes, you can hear that not every competitor or organization in the market would favorably appear on Microsoft’s bid — not because of the surprisingly low amount of the deal, but because of the monopolistic position that the Xbox platform could have found, if the sign were to fall. A business like Call of Duty in her hands. CMA (UK office) and Sony are well aware of this, which is taking so much dirt and putting so much money on the table, that Activision Blizzard is not taken over by Redmond.
Are such reservations allowed?
The whole situation is bizarre, and while it was interesting at first to follow how it goes, Microsoft and Sony are now blowing below their belt.. A few days ago, a document was leaked in which you can see in black and white that Sony has paid Activision Blizzard owners not to give them consent to include Call of Duty games in an Xbox Game Pass subscription for the next few years.
The gameplay primarily revolves around the exclusive Call of Duty. Microsoft has confirmed that the shooter brand will not shun PlayStation, but neither PlayStation nor the aforementioned CMA believe those assertions. In addition, Xbox spokesmen once lost themselves in their testimonials, because when they first mentioned the deal, they clearly stated that there would be no exclusivity at all, and later clarified that CoD exclusivity might not happen for the next few years. A big difference that can be hidden at any time under the phrase “dynamically developing market”, right?
The lack of Call of Duty on PlayStation – according to analysts from TweakTown – means that Sony will have to incur hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses. As we can see, this brand brings huge revenue to the Japanese company and its absence will have a very negative impact on the company’s financial results. No wonder then that PlayStation – comically on paper – is popping up a game/series ban style on Xbox Game Pass or trying to stop Microsoft from sucking up Activision Blizzard, one of the most important players on the market.
Blows below the belt from Sony and Microsoft
However, we have come to the point where neither Microsoft nor Sony are good uncles. Each of them shows that they don’t care much about the players’ well-being. Phil Spencer has always said that exclusivity is horrible and everyone should be able to play any game on any device. What did the Xbox boss do after buying Bethesda, which had a lot of PlayStation fans? He made Starfield, TES 6, and other titles coming from the same publisher only landing on Xbox Series X | S and PC. It is pathetic, given that the company is very lazy with projects (initiated by Xbox Game Studios) announced 3 years ago, and in this respect it stands out mercilessly from its competitors.
On the other hand, PlayStation buys temporary exclusives from most Asian developers. Square Enix products do not appear for the first time on Xbox (Microsoft console owners will probably never see the release of Final Fantasy VII – apparently, Sony acted rudely again, preventing developers from Japan from creating a Cloude adventure port on this platform), because They only land on PlayStation and sometimes on PC. The same goes for the recently announced Silent Hill 2 Remake from Konami. The big hit, that a lot of people have grown up with, is going to miss the Xbox. Sony is also “crazy” with the aforementioned ban on games/series on Xbox Game Pass, but that’s material for an entirely different article.
We live in such strange times when another giant is being taken over by another giant that I slowly don’t care who gets sucked from. Sony and Microsoft show that they are not good uncles, and if we really want to get to know all the most important games (blockbuster movies), we must have PlayStation and PC / XSX. Otherwise, we may miss many visits, and we do not have and will not have much influence on exclusivity, because it is a war between “big fish” – here we are only viewers and even send opinions (which the UK office itself requested) to the CMA on a Microsoft transaction -> Activision Blizzard won’t help. In fact, I think Microsoft currently has four letters to offer its products on “many platforms”, including according to Sony’s behavior / policy and this exclusivity, there will be more and more every year.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”