It was a day of revelations in the gaming industry as documents provided by Microsoft and Sony to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) came to light. As Microsoft tries to smooth its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, Sony tries to shut down the deal. Even if it means pissing off other developers.
If Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard, It Will Gain Massive Franchises Like Diablo, Warcraft, candy Crushand more important, Call of Duty. Microsoft insists it will keep CoD as a cross-platform franchise, but Sony believes the company will eventually make the brand exclusive to Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Xbox consoles.
Whether or not this is true remains to be seen and it is up to regulators to decide. In a file at the CMA, Sony paints Call of Duty as essential to the success of PlayStation. The company says the franchise is unique and cannot be replaced by rival shooter franchises like EA’s. Battlefield:
“Call of Duty is not reproducible. Call of Duty is too entrenched for a rival, no matter how well equipped, to catch up. It’s been the best-selling game almost every year for the past decade, and in the first-person shooter (“FPS”) genre, it’s overwhelmingly the best-selling game. Other publishers don’t have the resources or expertise to match its success. To give a concrete example, Electronic Arts — one of the biggest third-party developers after Activision — has been trying 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 of developing other successful AAA franchises (such as FIFA, Mass Effect, Need for Speed and Star Wars: Battlefront) – the Battlefield franchise can’t keep up. As of August 2021, over 400 million Call of Duty games have been sold, while Battlefield has only sold 88.7 million copies.
Sony is basically saying Battlefield can’t compete with Call of Duty, which isn’t good reading if you’re an EA executive. It should be noted that EA has an agreement with Microsoft that allows its games to be part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
From filings this week, we also learned that Sony plans to launch the PlayStation 6 in 2027, and that Microsoft thinks Sony has better exclusives than Xbox.
Tip of the day: Whether it’s a presentation, a song, or a YouTube video, at some point in your life you’ll need to record audio from your computer. Windows 11 has multiple options for recording audio due to its litany of apps. In our tutorial, we show you how to record audio using the built-in Windows 10 voice recorder and the free audio editor Audacity.