Microsoft has begun pushing back against the UK’s Commission Markets Authority (CMA) claims against Call Of Duty exclusivity on Xbox consoles. According to Axios, Microsoft stated that the UK regulator “over-counted” the impact Call of Duty exclusivity would have on the gaming industry.
The CMA first conducted a survey by DJS Research in December 2022, eventually concluding that 15% of Call of Duty PlayStation players would switch to Xbox should it go exclusive. Axios noted that the CMA’s own figure for PlayStation users switching to Xbox is redacted from its recent release of public provisional findings. Microsoft’s own survey came to a lesser percentage of 10.5% of Call of Duty players who would switch consoles should the franchise go Xbox exclusive.
Rima Alaily, corporate VP of Microsoft told Axios of a YouGov survey conducted by Microsoft this January. That survey came to their own conclusion that only 3% of all PlayStation players would switch to Xbox if Call of Duty became exclusive on their platforms after the Activision Blizzard deal is finalized.
Alaily continued, stating that the YouGov survey showed Call of Duty being “…too small to hurt Sony’s ability to compete and too small to make a withholding strategy profitable for Xbox.”
Additionally, Alaily repeated Microsoft’s initial message since the acquisition was announced. “As we have said all along: it makes zero business sense to take Call of Duty off of PlayStation.”
Unlike its EU counterpart, the CMA has remained skeptical of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal. The UK regulator’s final ruling on the deal is due by April 26, 2023. The EU’s final ruling occurs that following day, after its original deadline was pushed back last previous week.
This news follows the recent announcement of a signed 10-year deal between Microsoft and Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo systems if the deal is finalized. Microsoft followed up with an announcement of a partnership with NVIDIA, similar to the deal signed with Nintendo, promising to bring Xbox games to its cloud gaming service GeForce Now. PlayStation was offered a similar deal according to Microsoft, and while it was rejected, Microsoft hopes to eventually make a deal with its industry rival.
Microsoft also has to contend against the FTC lawsuit against the deal. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for August 2, 2023, according to the US regulator.