Sony Is Reportedly Blocking Call of Duty From Xbox Game Pass For “Years”
Sony is reportedly blocking Call of Duty titles from hitting Xbox Game Pass, based on the latest information.
According to the initial submission made by Microsoft in response to the CMA’s decision to refer Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard for a Phase 2 review, the agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on the ability to place Call of Duty titles on Xbox Game Pass for a number of years.
According to Microsoft, its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard will give more people more choices for how to play games and give developers more choices for how to reach those people. It reflects the company’s commitment to a future for gaming that expands beyond consoles in which a diversity of business models, distribution mechanisms and payment options are available.
Microsoft’s gaming business, Xbox, is working to expand choice in two ways: through Game Pass, a subscription service that lets users enjoy the best of what Xbox has to offer at an affordable price, and through bringing more games to mobile platforms, including through mobile apps and cloud-based game streaming technology.
Meanwhile, Microsoft also expresses disappointment over the CMA’s concerns, stating that the CMA has referred the Transaction for a Phase 2 review due to possible harms to rivals, despite the advantages for both developers and end users. The CMA is concerned that the deal may harm the leading console manufacturer i.e. PlayStation. It asserts that by refusing to allow Activision Blizzard content, in particular Call of Duty, on PlayStation, Microsoft may eliminate competition in console gaming platforms or multi-game subscription services. Second, the CMA worries that Microsoft may use content from Activision Blizzard alone or in conjunction with its larger “ecosystem” to outperform competitors like Google, Amazon, and Nvidia.
Later in its response to the CMA, Microsoft highlights that the agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on the ability to place Call of Duty titles on Xbox Game Pass for a number of years. The software giant is confident that, following an in-depth review, the CMA will conclude that there is no prospect that the acquisition that will give rise to a substantial lessening of competition in any market.