Last month, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided that it needed to have a Phase 2 investigation into Xbox's proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard. The ruling was highly-critical of Microsoft, citing concerns of a "substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom." Microsoft has now issued an official response, going after the CMA's claims that the purchase could do harm to Sony in particular if Call of Duty were to become an exclusive. Microsoft's response goes after each of the CMA's points, while also citing industry pundits that claim the regulators are trying to protect Sony's interests.
In the response, Microsoft specifically mentions the fact that PlayStation has been the market leader for more than 20 years "with an installed base of over 150 million consoles making it larger than Nintendo and more than double the size of Xbox." The response also cites Microsoft's current third-place position in the video game industry. The company suggests that the idea that having Call of Duty as an exclusive would close that gap "is not credible."
"While Sony may not welcome increased competition, it has the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers will ultimately benefit from this increased competition and choice," the response reads.
Of course, Microsoft also pointed out its public and private assurances to keep the franchise on PlayStation platforms. In fact, Microsoft has also discussed the possibility of bringing Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch. Interestingly enough, Microsoft cites the success of the Nintendo Switch as evidence that Call of Duty is not needed to have success in the industry, as there is not a single Call of Duty game currently available on the system; despite this, Nintendo has seen massive success with the Switch. Microsoft also cites the continued success of Steam, which has not hosted a new Call of Duty game in more than three years.
It remains to be seen whether Microsoft's response will sway regulators, but the company raises a number of valid points! Readers interested in learning more can do so right here.
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