Sony argues Call of Duty is too big for Microsoft acquisition

By Lee Brady,

Sony has argued that Call of Duty is too big a third-party IP for Microsoft to own. The PlayStation company has shown concern that Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and thus Call of Duty, would damage its revenue.

Sony recently commented on Microsoft's still-pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a deal that would see the PlayStation brand's major competitor, Xbox, take control of one of gaming's biggest franchises, Call of Duty. In response, Sony argued that Call of Duty is too big for Microsoft to own, as it believes the franchise sways the decision of which console to buy too much to be a first-party title.

Sony concerned over Microsoft Game Pass adding Call of Duty

sony call of duty microsoftMicrosoft pocketing Call of Duty would give it ownership of upcoming Modern Warfare 2

Sony's argument, made to a Brazilian regulator and translated to English on ResetEra, is based primarily in the strength and endurance of Call of Duty as a brand. Much of Sony's case hinged on its belief that other third-party AAA developers — such as EA, Rockstar, and Epic Games — would not be able to create a rival big enough to offset the market control Microsoft would gain by owning the franchise.

Sony noted that Call of Duty constitutes one of the company's biggest sources of third-party revenue, and provided data to support how important the brand was to PlayStation (though this was redacted from public records). Sony also showed concern over the superiority of Microsoft's Game Pass service, which it estimates has already captured roughly 60-70% of the global subscription service market, supposedly dominating Sony's own recently revamped PS Plus service. Sony seems to think it would take several years of substantial investment for a service to rival Game Pass, suggesting that Microsoft adding Call of Duty to its service's regular line-up could possibly make the service too big to compete against.


Despite recently acquiring Bungie, and with rumours of a possible Square Enix acquisition, Sony's belief that no franchise could eventually compete with Call of Duty show just how highly it values the franchise. The comments certainly seem to show concern over how committed Microsoft are to bringing Call of Duty to PlayStation, particularly as hype continues to swell for the upcoming Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 release. What do you make of these insights into the PlayStation company, and the impending acquisition? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Lee is a Staff Writer specialising in all things PlayStation. He covers colourful games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank, PS1 classics on PS Plus Premium, and everything Sonic, Kingdom Hearts and Overwatch 2. He also writes bad screenplays.