Microsoft has hit back at Sony for opposing the Activision Blizzard deal, valued at approximately $69 billion. Sony had recently claimed that Microsoft acquiring the Call of Duty game developers could compel gamers to switch from Sony PlayStation to Microsoft Xbox.
Microsoft has been working towards acquiring Activision Blizzard, which has attracted a lot of attention, and not in a positive way. The deal is already under investigation by regulatory authorities from the European Commission, FTC, and even in Brazil. In fact, during a hearing in front of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) in Brazil, Sony hinted gamers could abandon their PlayStation consoles if Microsoft successfully acquires Activision Blizzard.
The Call of Duty developers, assimilating into Microsoft Xbox, could compel gamers to switch from the PlayStation to the Xbox, suggested Sony. However, Microsoft has now hit back at the company, claiming Sony is primarily interested in stifling competition.
Microsoft claimed it was only Sony that had such a concern. The Xbox maker observed that CADE had asked Amazon, Apple, Google, Ubisoft, Riot Games, and Sony, but it was only the Japanese tech giant that raised such concerns about the acquisition.
Sony has sold over twice as many consoles as Microsoft in the prior console generation, and yet, it is attempting to stifle competition, Microsoft added. Sony could also be wary of the Xbox Game Pass subscription and its increasing popularity. Interestingly, Microsoft also noted that the service has grown to over 25 million subscribers as of January 2022, without a Call of Duty title.
Microsoft further suggested that Sony pays other gaming companies for "blocking rights" in order to prevent games from coming to Xbox Game Pass. In such a situation, Microsoft is not the company that is trying to threaten Sony.
Incidentally, Microsoft has previously promised to keep Call of Duty and other "popular Activision Blizzard franchises" on PlayStation consoles. Hence, it is not clear why Sony is dredging up a settled issue.