It's time to return to everyone's favourite ongoing story in games, namely, the war of words between Microsoft and Sony in regard to the former's intent to purchase publisher Activision Blizzard. In the latest turn, Sony has voiced concern that should the acquisition come to pass, future Call of Duty titles on PlayStation could be sabotaged by Microsoft, either by design or neglect. This, in turn, could cause players to lose "confidence in PlayStation as a go-to venue to play Call of Duty."
As reported by Eurogamer, Sony has outlined several ways in which it believes Microsoft could damage Call of Duty or "impair PlayStation's competitiveness" in a new document containing Sony's notes on the UK's Competition and Markets Authority suggestions.
Sony suggests, variously, that the strategies available to Microsoft could include: increasing the price of Call of Duty on PlayStation, degrading its quality and performance (including by ignoring DualSense-specific features), restricting or not prioritising investment in multiplayer on PS5 or PS4, or by simply making the game a Game Pass exclusive.
But it's Sony's accusations regarding technical performance parity which are the most savage, stating that, "for example, Microsoft might release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty where bugs and errors emerge only on the game's final level or after later updates. Even if such degradations could be swiftly detected, any remedy would likely come too late, by which time the gaming community would have lost confidence in PlayStation as a go-to venue to play Call of Duty."
Sony goes on to suggest that any form of "behavioural commitment" from Microsoft "would be difficult" and further claims Microsoft "have dragged their feet, engaged only when they sensed the regulatory outlook was darkening and favoured negotiating in the media over engaging with SIE."
Microsoft responded to Sony's accusations in a statement provided to Eurogamer: "since the CMA issued its Provisional Findings, we have offered solutions which address its concerns and increase the deal's benefits to UK players and game developers. These include a guarantee of parity between Xbox and PlayStation on access to Call of Duty and legally binding commitments to ensure that Call of Duty is available to at least 150 million more players on other consoles and cloud streaming platforms once the deal closes. The decision now lies with the CMA on whether it will block this deal and protect Sony, the dominant market leader, or consider solutions that make more games available to more players."
What do you think of Sony's concerns? Would you trust that a PlayStation version of Call of Duty would be equal, in all ways, to Xbox if Microsoft were the one bankrolling the endeavour? Let us know in the comments section below.