The “real plan,” according to Sony, is to “create PlayStation like Nintendo.”
The remarks were contained in a recently released response to the UK regulator Competition and Markets Authority’s choice to broaden the scope of its probe into the planned merger.
Sony Interactive Entertainment claims in its 22-page rebuttal that if the acquisition goes through, people would abandon the PlayStation environment, Microsoft may increase Xbox costs, and independent developers will suffer as a result.
Much of the document focuses on Call of Duty and the alleged harm Sony claims the Activision Blizzard deal would cause, should the flagship franchise be made exclusively for Xbox, as has been the trend with the regulatory back-and-forth.
The platform owner specifically mentions Microsoft’s remarks that other platforms, like as Nintendo Switch, have thrived without Call of Duty in one portion of its statement. Sony claims that this accusation “ignores the facts” in its most recent response.
Nintendo’s approach, according to SIE, differs from those of PlayStation and Xbox since it does not rely on 18+ shooter brands, which, if the Activision transaction is approved by international authorities, Microsoft would effectively hold exclusively.
In this regard, it asserts that Microsoft’s “real aim” in partnering with Activision Blizzard is to make PlayStation similar to Nintendo in that it does not compete in this market.
Microsoft asserts that Nintendo’s unique business strategy shows that Call of Duty is not necessary for PlayStation to compete successfully. But this makes Microsoft’s genuine strategy clear,” according to SIE. Microsoft wants PlayStation to resemble Nintendo in order to make it a less direct and competitive rival to Xbox.
“Post-Transaction,” according to the Decision, “Xbox would become the only source for all the best-selling shooter series on consoles (Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, Plus Doom, Overwatch), free from substantial competitive pressure.”
Activision’s titles, “particularly Call of Duty,” according to SIE’s statement, are “essential” to PlayStation.
Every Call of Duty installment since its first release in 2003 has continuously led the charts, the company claims, going on to reveal redacted percentage estimates of the audience share it believes it will lose to Xbox should CoD become exclusive.
Microsoft continues by saying that Nintendo has been successful without having access to Call of Duty, despite these facts. “This is missing the mark. Because it focuses on family-friendly games that are substantially different from PEGI 18 FPS titles like Call of Duty, Nintendo provides a differentiated experience from Xbox and PlayStation, according to a large body of data cited in the Decision.
The CMA stated that Microsoft’s internal records demonstrate that: “In general, Microsoft’s internal materials track PlayStation more closely than Nintendo, with Nintendo frequently being absent from any internal competitive evaluation.
Regulators in Saudi Arabia and Brazil have authorized the Activision transaction, but the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has extended its probe into a second phase. Before making a final decision by March 1, 2023, it is currently requesting the public to express their opinions on the acquisition.
Brazil’s CADE stated that it agreed with Microsoft’s assertion that Call of Duty was not necessary for PlayStation to stay competitive in order to justify its decision to accept the purchase.
As can be seen, Nintendo does not presently rely on any Activision Blizzard material to compete in the market, the statement continued.