Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard, one of the largest game developers in the world, for $68.7 billion. Shareholders of the companies have already approved the deal, but the final decision will depend on regulators.
The Administrative Council for Economic Defense of Brazil (CADE) is also considering a potential deal between Microsoft and Activision. In published documents questions related to the acquisition are discussed in detail, as well as answers from direct competitors. For example, Sony claims the following:
“[Call of Duty] is synonymous with first-person shooter games and essentially defines the category. Call of Duty is so popular that it influences the choice of console by users, and its community of dedicated users is already so ingrained that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, he could not compete with it.
Indeed, Call of Duty has been one of the biggest gaming brands for more than a decade, and the series’ annual titles regularly top the global sales charts. Sony claims that the influence of the Call of Duty brand and the huge resources provided by Activision make it impossible for competitors to compete with the franchise.
“The development of each annual part of Call of Duty takes about 3-5 years. Since Activision releases one Call of Duty game a year, that means an annual investment of hundreds of millions of dollars. No other developer can devote the same amount of resources and expertise to game development. Even if they could do that, Call of Duty is way too popular and no competitor – no matter how big – can beat it,” Sony said in a statement.
The company also claims that Call of Duty has amassed a loyal fan base, which is why many gamers are “unlikely to switch to other games” due to habit, investment, and overall brand loyalty built up over the years.
In turn, Microsoft said that Call of Duty and other famous games from Activision Blizzard “compete” with a huge number of games. The company also compiled a list of games that it considers direct competitors to Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush.
The deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard is expected to close in 2023 after receiving regulatory approval.