The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has recommended beginning a second-phase investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as it believes it could stifle competition in the video game industry in the region. Sony has responded that it welcomes the announcement of further investigation.
“By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry,” Sony said in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz. “We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.”
This comes after PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan called Xbox’s offer to extend Call of Duty’s availability on PlayStation platforms “inadequate” last week. Ryan says that the extension only would have lasted for three additional years after existing agreements expired. There is reportedly three Call of Duty games left to release on PlayStation under current contracts, which include this year’s Modern Warfare 2.
Xbox’s Phil Spencer noted that he still wanted to keep Call of Duty a multiplatform franchise, but it was unknown whether it’d be indefinitely. Xbox’s extension offer to PlayStation indicates that the franchise could become exclusive to Microsoft’s ecosystem eventually should the acquisition go through.
Spencer has also confirmed that future Call of Duty games would also come to Xbox Game Pass on the same day that they launch on PlayStation. This way, he argues, Call of Duty will be available to more gamers.
Every IGN Call of Duty Review
Despite the investigation, the Call of Duty series marches on as Activision is holding a Call of Duty Next event later today to reveal more about this year’s release. You can watch the stream on IGN.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey