Microsoft’s deal to buy Activision Blizzard still needs approval from major national regulators, who are asking the gaming industry what they think of the deal. Sony, the main competitor of Microsoft’s game console business, commented that Activision’s “Call of Duty” series of games is unique, and other game companies have difficulty making similar products to compete with it. Microsoft responded to Sony’s comments this week, denying that Call of Duty is unique. Microsoft cited data that only two of Activision Blizzard’s 20 best-selling games in 2021 will be on the list, and “Call of Duty” is only one of the best-selling games. And because competitors have adopted exclusive strategies, many best-selling games can not land on the Xbox platform. Microsoft emphasized that “Call of Duty” will not be exclusive to the Xbox platform, and will continue to land on multiple platforms such as Sony’s PS. Microsoft has accused Sony of making exclusives central to its platform strategy, and that in addition to first-party games, Sony has also struck deals with third parties for limited-time or DLC exclusives. Microsoft said that Sony, which launched its own subscription service, was unhappy with Game Pass because it didn’t want an attractive subscription service to jeopardize its position in the console digital game distribution market.
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