PlayStation userbase “significantly larger” than Xbox even if every COD player ditched Sony, Microsoft says
Responding to Britain regulator concerns over Activision Blizzard deal.
Microsoft has responded to a listing of concerns regarding its ongoing $68bn endeavor to purchase Activision Blizzard, as raised by the Great britain’s Contest and Markets Authority (CMA), and come up with an interesting statistic.
In response to continued questions over whether Microsoft owning Call of Duty would unfairly hobble PlayStation, Microsoft claimed that every COD player on PlayStation could motility over to Xbox, and Sony’s playerbase would nevertheless remain “significantly larger” than its own.
Microsoft does non go into item on its mental arithmetic here, but does note elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a panel install base of 150 1000000, compared to Xbox’s install base of operations of 63.7 1000000.
That claim is role of a range of comments given to Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz in response to the CMA’s latest study, which otherwise mostly repeats many of the same concerns raised by the UK regulator – and others effectually the world – already.
For those following the case, the CMA’south latest intervention will non come equally a surprise – it is the next step on the regulator’s recent roadmap for how and when information technology will weigh in with its final ruling. This calendar month, nosotros were due the CMA’s October “issues statement” – and it seems that this is the document to which Microsoft has now publicly responded.
The usual topics are covered – surrounding the potential for the deal to harm competitors should Microsoft gain too much of an advantage owning Activision Blizzard franchises (mainly, Call of Duty) and therefore being able to leverage their brand power to become a dominant market place leader in the console market and deject streaming.
Specifically, the CMA sees potential for the bargain to harm Sony just also other streaming services such as Google (perhaps a moot point now), Amazon and Nvidia.
“Having full control over this powerful catalogue, specially in low-cal of Microsoft’due south already strong position in gaming consoles, operating systems, and deject infrastructure, could upshot in Microsoft harming consumers by impairing Sony’due south – Microsoft’due south closest gaming rival – power to compete,” the CMA wrote, “every bit well as that of other existing rivals and potential new entrants who could otherwise bring healthy competition through innovative multi-game subscriptions and cloud gaming services.”
In response, Microsoft said such “unsupported theories of damage” were non enough to fifty-fifty warrant the CMA’s current Phase 2 investigation – which was triggered on 1st September.
“The proposition that the incumbent market leader, with clear and indelible market ability, could be foreclosed by the tertiary largest provider equally a result of losing admission to ane championship is not credible,” Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.
“While Sony may not welcome increased contest, it has the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers will ultimately do good from this increased competition and choice.
“Should any consumers make up one’s mind to switch from a gaming platform that does not give them a choice as to how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to ane that does (Xbox), then that is the sort of consumer switching behavior that the CMA should consider welfare enhancing and indeed encourage. It is non something that the CMA should be trying to prevent.”
The CMA is due to notify Microsoft of its conditional findings in January 2023, at which point information technology tin seek possible remedies to whatever sticking points raised. The regulator’s final report – and overall ruling – will then be published no afterwards than 1st March adjacent yr.