PlayStation userbase “significantly larger” than Xbox fifty-fifty if every COD role player ditched Sony, Microsoft says
Responding to UK regulator concerns over Activision Blizzard deal.
Microsoft has responded to a list of concerns regarding its ongoing $68bn effort to buy Activision Blizzard, equally raised past the UK’s Competition and Markets Authorisation (CMA), and come up with an interesting statistic.
In response to connected questions over whether Microsoft owning Call of Duty would unfairly hobble PlayStation, Microsoft claimed that every COD player on PlayStation could move over to Xbox, and Sony’s playerbase would still remain “significantly larger” than its own.
Microsoft does not get into detail on its mental arithmetic here, but does note elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a console install base of 150 million, compared to Xbox’s install base of operations of 63.vii million.
That claim is part of a range of comments given to Eurogamer sis site GamesIndustry.biz in response to the CMA’due south latest written report, which otherwise mostly repeats many of the aforementioned concerns raised past the UK regulator – and others around the world – already.
For those post-obit the example, the CMA’s latest intervention will non come up as a surprise – information technology is the side by side step on the regulator’s recent roadmap for how and when it will weigh in with its final ruling. This month, we 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 reward owning Activision Blizzard franchises (mainly, Phone call of Duty) and therefore being able to leverage their brand power to go a ascendant market leader in the console market and cloud streaming.
Specifically, the CMA sees potential for the deal to harm Sony but too other streaming services such as Google (possibly a moot point now), Amazon and Nvidia.
“Having total command over this powerful catalogue, especially in light of Microsoft’due south already strong position in gaming consoles, operating systems, and cloud infrastructure, could result in Microsoft harming consumers by impairing Sony’s – Microsoft’s closest gaming rival – ability to compete,” the CMA wrote, “every bit well as that of other existing rivals and potential new entrants who could otherwise bring salubrious competition through innovative multi-game subscriptions and cloud gaming services.”
In response, Microsoft said such “unsupported theories of impairment” were non plenty to even 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 power, could be foreclosed by the third largest provider as a result of losing access to i championship is not credible,” Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.
“While Sony may not welcome increased competition, information technology has the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers will ultimately benefit from this increased contest and choice.
“Should whatsoever consumers decide to switch from a gaming platform that does not give them a choice equally to how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to 1 that does (Xbox), then that is the sort of consumer switching behavior that the CMA should consider welfare enhancing and indeed encourage. It is not something that the CMA should be trying to forestall.”
The CMA is due to notify Microsoft of its conditional findings in Jan 2023, at which point information technology can seek possible remedies to any sticking points raised. The regulator’s final study – and overall ruling – volition then be published no later than 1st March next year.