Sony appears to be unsure if Microsoft is buying Call of Duty brandActivision

Sony appears to be unsure if Microsoft is buying Call of Duty brandActivision

A Brazilian government filing has given us a sneak peek into Sony''s thoughts on the upcoming $69 billion Microsoft purchase of Activision Blizzard, particularly the fact that Xbox will soon own the blockbuster first-person shooter franchise Call of Duty.

Companies within the same industry as such corporate transactions are asked to discuss deals of this magnitude. Interestingly, Brazil also posts all of these information online (albeit in some cases with altered passages).

Sony''s response is mostly public, and includes a number of arguments, which highlight the potential of Xbox acquiring Call of Duty in a problematic light (as seen by ResetEra, and translated for us by Eurogamer Portugal).

Sony claims that Call of Duty is a franchise with no competitor, but that even EA''s Battlefield might privately agree with them.

The first steps into the Call of Duty franchise "tend to be long-running franchises with large budgets, multi-year development cycles, and fanatical followings," Sony said. "And despite immense budgets and resources, no other developer has managed to establish a franchise to rival Activision''s Call of Duty, which he calls a gaming category in its own right."

Sony defines Call of Duty as "an essential game," "a blockbuster, a AAA-like game that has no competitor," and quotes a 2019 survey that uncovered COD as the only video game property that has broken into the top ten most lucrative worldwide, alongside "powerhouses like Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings."

More interestingly, Sony claims that Call of Duty "is so popular that it influences users'' choice of console, and its network of loyal users is so strong that even if a competitor had the cash to develop a similar product, it wouldn''t be able to compete."

This is a fascinating argument for Sony to be making, since Sony itself has partnered with Call of Duty for the past couple of console generations, offering perks and early access to those who are playing COD on PlayStation.

"Call of Duty is broadening, so no competitor - no matter how effective - can achieve it," Sony said. "Call of Duty has been the top-selling game for nearly every year in the past decade, and for its variety, it is overwhelmingly the best-selling game. It''s essentially synonymous with first-person shooters and defines that category."

Microsoft has previously pledged to launch Call of Duty games on PlayStation "beyond the existing agreement and into the future." Both Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0 will be launched on Sony platforms.

Beyond this, it has been reported that the Call of Duty franchise will take an unprecedented break in 2023, before Treyarch''s next title will arrive at some point after that. This game is also believed to be part of PlayStation''s existing agreement, suggesting that nothing will change for the time being.

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