Sony Interactive Entertainment (YOU) answer Blizzard told the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for its proposed remedies to finalize the Microsoft-Activision merger deal why it’s still afraid to entrust the Call of Duty franchise to the American platform owner.
Recall that in its preliminary report, the CMA acknowledged the negative consequences of the acquisition and proposed a number of remedies: Microsoft’s abandonment of the Call of Duty brand, spin-off of part of Activision Blizzard’s business into an independent entity, and licensing agreements with competitors.
As SIE notes, behavioral mitigations will not be enough to address the regulator’s concerns because Microsoft has done so “Many ways to restrict access or reduce its quality, [которые] will be extremely difficult to track and control.”.
For example, Microsoft can sabotage Call of Duty releases on PlayStation by giving them fewer resources and releasing less polished versions of games on Japanese consoles. By the time the bugs are fixed, players will already be doing it “will lose confidence that PlayStation is worth playing Call of Duty”.
In response to recent comments from Sony, Lulu Cheng Meservey, Activision Blizzard’s executive vice president of corporate affairs and chief commercial officer specifiedthat the Japanese company gave up a 10-year contract with favorable terms and guarantees for long-term access to Call of Duty.
“Why? YOU CEO [Джим Райан] answered this question [21 февраля во время закрытой встречи с европейскими регуляторами] in Brussels. I quote him: “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your fusion.”— leads Words of the head of SIE Meservi.
Microsoft has repeatedly denied speculation that competitors could be denied access to Call of Duty, even forging 10-year deals with Nintendo and NVIDIA to convince regulators. The final decision on the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard in the CMA must be made by April 26th.