PlayStation userbase “significantly larger” than Xbox even if every COD actor ditched Sony, Microsoft says
Responding to UK regulator concerns over Activision Blizzard bargain.
Microsoft has responded to a list of concerns regarding its ongoing $68bn attempt to buy Activision Blizzard, equally raised by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and come up 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 thespian on PlayStation could movement over to Xbox, and Sony’s playerbase would still remain “significantly larger” than its ain.
Microsoft does not go into detail on its mental arithmetics here, simply does note elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a console install base of 150 million, compared to Xbox’s install base of 63.7 million.
That claim is office of a range of comments given to Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz in response to the CMA’south latest report, which otherwise mostly repeats many of the same concerns raised by the UK regulator – and others around the world – already.
For those following the case, the CMA’s latest intervention will not come equally a surprise – it is the next step on the regulator’s recent roadmap for how and when it will weigh in with its final ruling. This calendar month, nosotros were due the CMA’southward 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 get a dominant market leader in the console market and cloud streaming.
Specifically, the CMA sees potential for the deal to damage Sony but besides other streaming services such equally Google (perhaps a moot point at present), Amazon and Nvidia.
“Having total control over this powerful catalogue, especially in light of Microsoft’southward already strong position in gaming consoles, operating systems, and cloud infrastructure, could result in Microsoft harming consumers by impairing Sony’s – Microsoft’southward 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 healthy competition through innovative multi-game subscriptions and cloud gaming services.”
In response, Microsoft said such “unsupported theories of damage” were not enough to even warrant the CMA’s current Phase 2 investigation – which was triggered on 1st September.
“The proffer that the incumbent market leader, with clear and enduring marketplace power, could exist foreclosed by the third largest provider equally a result of losing admission to one title is not apparent,” Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.
“While Sony may not welcome increased competition, information technology has the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers volition ultimately do good from this increased competition and choice.
“Should any consumers decide to switch from a gaming platform that does not requite them a choice equally to how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to one that does (Xbox), and 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 provisional findings in January 2023, at which signal it can seek possible remedies to any sticking points raised. The regulator’s last study – and overall ruling – volition then exist published no later than 1st March adjacent year.