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The Xbox maker believes Sony is being dishonest about how the deal could impact major franchises like Call of Duty.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 30, 2023

2 Min Read

Microsoft has accused Sony of misleading EU regulators over the potential impacts of its proposed Activision Blizzard merger.

The European Commission is currently investigating the $68.7 billion deal over concerns it might "reduce competition" in the video game industry and allow Microsoft to "foreclose access to Activision Blizzard's console and PC video games," including high-profile franchises such as Call of Duty.

Reports earlier this month indicated the Commission was preparing to hit Microsoft with an anti-trust warning as part of its investigation, and now Microsoft claims those tasked with analyzing the merger are being fed false information by PlayStation maker Sony.

Over the weekend, Microsoft communications lead Frank X. Shaw said that Sony has been telling people in Brussels that Microsoft would be unwilling to offer parity for Call of Duty if the merger is completed, before adding that "nothing could be further from the truth."

"We’ve been clear we’ve offered Sony a 10 year deal to give them parity on timing, content, features, quality, playability, and any other aspect of the game," said Shaw on Twitter. "We’ve also said we’re happy to make this enforceable through a contract, regulatory agreements, or other means.

"Sony is the console market leader and it would defy business logic for us to exclude PlayStation gamers from the Call of Duty ecosystem. Our goal is to bring Call of Duty and other games—as we did with Minecraft—to more people around the world so they can play them where and how they want."

Since announcing the deal last year, Microsoft has repeatedly pledged to keep major Activision Blizzard franchises on rival platforms for the foreseeable future, but regulators remain skeptical about the deal.

The Competition and Markets Authority and Federal Trade Commission are currently poring over the deal in the UK and United States over concerns it might give Microsoft the ability to make important franchises platform exclusive. 

Microsoft is doing its best to address those concerns, but evidently believes Sony is playing hardball when laying out its own position to regulators.

Game Developer has reached out to Sony for comment.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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