David Cole, founder of market research and consulting firm DFC Intelligence, recons that Call of Duty Xbox exclusivity will be a difficult thing to get past regulators, so Microsoft might want to avoid going down that route.
Speaking to Games Industry, Cole said that Call of Duty is the only “big” franchise that Activision Blizzard owns and considering its significance in the games industry, its full exclusivity may become an issue from a legal standpoint.
Why everyone’s talking about Call of Duty Xbox exclusivity
Since its inception, Call of Duty has went on to become one of the best-selling video game franchises in history and its annual releases – irrespective of user and critic reviews – dominate sales charts every year. It’s also one of the most recognized gaming brands around the world and it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider Call of Duty a household name.
According to Cole, blocking Call of Duty from releasing on PlayStation platforms will be seen an anti-competitive measure and that’s something Microsoft will certainly want to avoid. “It should also be noted that on the console side Call of Duty is really the only big franchise from Activision,” Cole told Games Industry. “The big issue is if COD becomes a Microsoft exclusive. Right now, I don’t think [it will]. For one thing, it would be hard to get it past regulators if they want to lock the competition out.”
Opinion: Xbox Activision deal will become a case study for regulators
Zarmena writes… I’m not an expert on U.S. regulations but it doesn’t take an expert to tell that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, no matter how Microsoft spins it, will turn heads and not necessarily in a good way. The company seems to be carefully toeing the line, with both Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer reiterating that this acquisition isn’t about consolidating the industry and is geared towards making Microsoft more competitive. But any potential plans to make Call of Duty a full Xbox console exclusive will be seen as a contradiction to these statements. It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft proceeds. One way to circumvent authorities would be to keep Warzone multiplatform while restricting future titles to the Microsoft ecosystem.
[Source: Games Industry]