Microsoft’s plan to acquire Activision Blizzard is being reviewed by regulators around the world, and in Brazil, Sony’s official response to this government’s questions has been released. According to these documents, Sony believes that once Microsoft acquires the Call of Duty franchise as part of the acquisition, it will have the ability to influence users’ console choices.
“According to a 2019 study, the importance of Call of Duty to entertainment in general is indescribable,” the company said via VGC translation. “It was the only video game IP brand to make it into the top 10 entertainment brands among fans, joining powerful companies like Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Call of Duty is so popular that it influences the choice of console users, and its loyal user community is deep enough that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, it wouldn’t be able to compete.”
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Sony added that the level of investment that Activision is committing to in each Call of Duty game is unparalleled, and with a dedicated workforce spread across multiple dedicated studios, that’s one of the reasons the franchise is an annual top-selling game. This level of success has made Call of Duty an incredibly profitable franchise and a globally recognized brand with a dedicated fan base.
Last February, Microsoft reiterated its intention to continue developing Activision franchises for competing console platforms and said it would continue to support Call of Duty on PlayStation “following the current agreement” and in the future. Microsoft previously confirmed that it will honor all existing publishing deals, specifically Modern Warfare 2 for 2022, 2023 Call of Duty: Warzone 2, and the new Call of Duty release in late 2023.
Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard was announced in January 2022 and expected to be completed in June 2023, with US Federal Trade Commission approval expected later this month. In addition to this US regulator, the acquisition still needs approval from other government watchdog groups such as the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
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