PlayStation userbase “significantly larger” than Xbox fifty-fifty if every COD player ditched Sony, Microsoft says
Responding to Great britain regulator concerns over Activision Blizzard deal.
Microsoft has responded to a list of concerns regarding its ongoing $68bn try to buy Activision Blizzard, as raised by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and come upwardly 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 histrion on PlayStation could move over to Xbox, and Sony’south playerbase would notwithstanding remain “significantly larger” than its own.
Microsoft does not go into particular on its mental arithmetics here, but does note elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a console install base of 150 one thousand thousand, compared to Xbox’s install base of 63.seven meg.
That claim is part 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 U.k. regulator – and others around the world – already.
For those following the case, the CMA’s latest intervention will not come as a surprise – information technology is the side by side footstep on the regulator’due south recent roadmap for how and when it will weigh in with its last ruling. This month, nosotros were due the CMA’s October “issues argument” – and it seems that this is the certificate to which Microsoft has at present publicly responded.
The usual topics are covered – surrounding the potential for the bargain 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 ascendant market leader in the console market and cloud streaming.
Specifically, the CMA sees potential for the deal to impairment Sony but also other streaming services such as Google (perhaps a moot point now), Amazon and Nvidia.
“Having full command over this powerful catalogue, especially in low-cal 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’s closest gaming rival – ability to compete,” the CMA wrote, “also as that of other existing rivals and potential new entrants who could otherwise bring healthy competition through innovative multi-game subscriptions and deject gaming services.”
In response, Microsoft said such “unsupported theories of damage” were not plenty to fifty-fifty warrant the CMA’s current Stage 2 investigation – which was triggered on 1st September.
“The suggestion that the incumbent market leader, with articulate and indelible market power, could exist foreclosed by the third largest provider equally a consequence of losing admission to i title is not apparent,” Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.
“While Sony may not welcome increased contest, it has the ability to suit and compete. Gamers volition ultimately do good from this increased contest and selection.
“Should any consumers decide to switch from a gaming platform that does not give them a choice as to how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to one that does (Xbox), and so 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 preclude.”
The CMA is due to notify Microsoft of its provisional findings in January 2023, at which signal it tin seek possible remedies to whatever sticking points raised. The regulator’south terminal written report – and overall ruling – will then be published no later than 1st March next twelvemonth.