Microsoft’s merger with Activision Blizzard has taken a big hit last week as the FTC moved to file a lawsuit to block the deal. Microsoft now faces this obstacle following in-depth investigations by the UK CMA, and EU Commissions into the merger.
Phil Spencer, Xbox Chief, recently stated that Sony is trying to preserve its dominance by opposing this deal. Sony was the strongest opponent to the deal between Microsoft, Activision, and claimed that it will lead to a price rise.
Spencer spoke on the Second Request podcast and stated that Sony wants “to make Xbox smaller.” “There’s really only been one major opposer to the deal and it’s Sony, and Sony’s trying to protect their dominance on console, and the way they grow is by making Xbox smaller,” Spencer stated.
“They have a very different perspective on the industry than we do. They don’t ship their games day and date on PC, [and] they don’t put their games in the subscription when they launch their games.”
Spencer also reiterated that Microsoft’s merger with Activision Blizzard will strengthen its position in the mobile gaming sphere rather than strip games from the PlayStation platform. Activision Blizzard is a subsidiary to King, who developed the Candy Crush game. Activision Blizzard is also working on a Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile video game. They also developed the controversial Diablo Immortal mobile title.
“But because Sony’s leading all of the dialogue around why this deal shouldn’t go through to protect their dominant position in console, the thing that they grab onto is Call of Duty, and we’ve said over and over that we’ll make a multi-year, 10-year commitment to PlayStation,” Spencer shared.
Microsoft has stated repeatedly that it has extended a ten year deal to keep Call of Duty on the PlayStation. Should Activision Blizzard merge, the company offered a similar deal for Nintendo.
Sony’s opposition stems mainly from claims that Microsoft intends to make the Call of Duty series exclusive to the Xbox and PC after the current agreement expires. Microsoft did something similar with Bethesda when it bought the company, making Starfield & Redfall exclusive titles.
Microsoft stated that the merger would be beneficial for the gaming sector as more players will have the opportunity to play Activision games. Activision Blizzard Games are currently available on all major platforms.
Sony will undoubtedly oppose any deal which would make its main console rival bigger. Microsoft could also dictate which Activition Blizzard game titles will be available on different platforms. The Xbox Game Pass will continue to dominate the video game subscription market with the merger.
Xbox will not be smaller if the deal does not push through, contrary to Spencer’s claims. It will just be harder for Microsoft to keep up with Sony’s first-party titles. Microsoft admits that it is far behind Sony when it comes to first-party games.
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