Sony: Microsoft may introduce bugs in PlayStation version Call of Duty

Sony tells British market regulator CMA that Microsoft can reduce the quality and performance of Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles. This is evident from documents published by the CMA in the context of Microsoft’s intended Activision acquisition.

Sony to the CMA various concerns about the Activision acquisition by Microsoft, also noted The Verge. The company says Microsoft can make Call of Duty less attractive on the PlayStation, for example by increasing the price of the games only on that platform or by prioritizing development of Xbox versions at the expense of the PlayStation versions. The company says Microsoft can do that by ignoring PlayStation-specific features like DualSense haptics and lowering the “quality and performance of Call of Duty for PlayStations.”

According to Sony, Microsoft could “release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty where bugs and errors don’t appear until the last level of the game or after later updates.” “Even if such deteriorations could be detected quickly, any resolution would likely come too late and the gaming community would have lost faith in PlayStation as a preferred location for Call of Duty by then,” Sony claims. “Even if Microsoft acted in good faith, it would be incentivized to prioritize Xbox version development.”

In response, Microsoft says in a statement against Eurogamer that it has offered a solution to address the concerns, including “a guarantee of equal access to Call of Duty” on Xbox and PlayStation. The company also emphasizes that it has signed “legally binding agreements” to make Call of Duty available on more platforms, such as the Nintendo Switch and Nvidia GeForce NOW.

Sony also says it is concerned that Microsoft may exclude the Call of Duty series from its PlayStation Plus subscription service in favor of Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft says to the CMA that Call of Duty is also eligible for inclusion in Sony’s subscription service. There were reports last year that Microsoft would have offered to make Call of Duty available for PlayStation Plus. Sony says in a redacted CMA document then again that the prices in Microsoft’s proposal are too high and would “destroy the business model of Sony’s subscription service.”

The intended acquisition of Activision Blizzard was announced last year. Microsoft would pay $ 68.7 billion for the game maker. This would make it the largest acquisition in the gaming sector to date. The deal is currently under scrutiny by market regulators in several countries and regions. Regulators have so far been critical of the deal, for example because Microsoft would gain an unfair advantage and could limit competition in the market. The British CMA recently published a list of objections to the takeover and the American FTC is also critical. The European Commission was too, but will approve the acquisition after Microsoft made concessions, according to Reuters.