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Sony fears it will get a low-fat Call of Duty if Vole takes it over

by on07 April 2023

Claims Microsoft will want to make Xbox versions look better

Sony says it's worried Microsoft could give PlayStation owners a "degraded" performance of new Call of Duty games if it takes over Activision Blizzard to make the Xbox versions look better.

Last month, UK regulators said they no longer believed a proposed Microsoft-owned Activision would bar Call of Duty games from PlayStation platforms, reversing earlier preliminary findings.

In a newly published response to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, Sony says the regulators' recent turnaround is "surprising, unprecedented, and irrational."

The company takes specific issue with the regulators' "lifetime value" modelling, which Sony says heavily undervalues what an Xbox-exclusive Call of Duty would be worth to Microsoft.

Beyond those technical concerns, though, Sony worries that Microsoft might subtly undermine PlayStation "simply by not making it as good as it could be." That could include slight changes to the game's "performance [or] quality of play.

It could jack up the price on PlayStation, release the game later, or make it available only on Game Pass.

Sony claims that Vole has no incentive to use the advanced features in PlayStation not found in Xbox such as the PS5 controller's advanced haptics and built-in audio capabilities.

Microsoft has replied that it has "no intention to withhold or degrade access to Call of Duty or any other Activision content on PlayStation."

That follows on a March filing where Microsoft promised Sony parity on Call of Duty's "release date, content, features, upgrades, quality, and playability."


Last modified on 07 April 2023
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