PlayStation userbase “significantly larger” than Xbox even if every COD histrion ditched Sony, Microsoft says
Responding to U.k. regulator concerns over Activision Blizzard deal.
Microsoft has responded to a list of concerns regarding its ongoing $68bn effort to buy Activision Blizzard, as raised past 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 move over to Xbox, and Sony’southward playerbase would still remain “significantly larger” than its own.
Microsoft does not go into detail on its mental arithmetic here, but does annotation elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a console install base of 150 million, compared to Xbox’south install base of 63.7 one thousand thousand.
That claim is part of a range of comments given to Eurogamer sis site GamesIndustry.biz in response to the CMA’s latest written report, which otherwise by and large repeats many of the same concerns raised past the United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland regulator – and others around the world – already.
For those following the case, the CMA’south latest intervention will non come as a surprise – information technology is the next step on the regulator’due south recent roadmap for how and when information technology will weigh in with its terminal ruling. This month, we were due the CMA’southward October “issues statement” – and information technology seems that this is the document to which Microsoft has now publicly responded.
The usual topics are covered – surrounding the potential for the bargain to harm competitors should Microsoft proceeds also much of an advantage owning Activision Blizzard franchises (mainly, Call of Duty) and therefore being able to leverage their brand power to go a dominant marketplace leader in the console market and cloud streaming.
Specifically, the CMA sees potential for the deal to harm Sony but also other streaming services such as Google (mayhap a moot bespeak now), Amazon and Nvidia.
“Having total control over this powerful catalogue, especially in light of Microsoft’s already strong position in gaming consoles, operating systems, and cloud infrastructure, could result in Microsoft harming consumers by impairing Sony’s – Microsoft’south closest gaming rival – ability to compete,” the CMA wrote, “likewise 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 harm” were not enough to even warrant the CMA’due south current Stage 2 investigation – which was triggered on 1st September.
“The proffer that the incumbent market leader, with clear and indelible market power, could be foreclosed by the third largest provider as a result of losing admission to one title is not credible,” Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.
“While Sony may not welcome increased competition, it has the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers will ultimately benefit from this increased competition and option.
“Should whatsoever consumers decide to switch from a gaming platform that does not give them a option as to how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to one 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 prevent.”
The CMA is due to notify Microsoft of its provisional findings in Jan 2023, at which point information technology tin seek possible remedies to any sticking points raised. The regulator’s terminal report – and overall ruling – volition then be published no after than 1st March next year.