Microsoft's Call of Duty 'unique' FPS retort to Sony is utterly absurd

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,

The Microsoft deal for Activision Blizzard is seemingly up in the air after Sony made it clear it expects legal challenges from regulatory bodies because of the scale of Call of Duty. The Xbox owner has now made retorts.

The scale of the Call of Duty series has been a continual point of argument between Sony and Microsoft. With regulators in the EU and UK now delving deeper, an investigation revealing Microsoft offered 10 year deal for Sony (rejected, of course) has brought up the question of Call of Duty's market dominance again. In response, Microsoft has somehow absurdly argued against Sony's claims that Call of Duty is a unique FPS.

Modern Warfare 2 doesn't exactly help the CoD argumentModern Warfare 2 doesn't exactly help the CoD argument

Call of Duty deal remains a massive Activision Blizzard issue

Microsoft's retort to the 'Call of Duty is a uniquely successful FPS' argument was spotted by Tom Henderson's Insider Gaming over on the CMA website — the UK's regulatory body for acquisitions and mergers. The general gist is that Call of Duty has such a big share of the FPS market that Sony thinks it is nigh on impossible to compete with it — thus making it unique. Microsoft's financial backing would launch it from uniquely stratospheric success to an intergalactic level of market dominance. "Nor is Call of Duty unique," Microsoft argues in the report, "as compared to the many other games which are loved by
gamers." It continues:

• Call of Duty is consistently outranked in user polls on PlayStation
• Call of Duty is consistently outranked on Metacritic scores
• Call of Duty is consistently outranked in industry reviews of the top games
• Call of Duty does not drive social media conversations. There were more than
2.4 billion tweets about gaming in 2021 and yet, no Call of Duty title made it
into the top ten “Most Talked About Video Games” on Twitter last year
call of dutyCall of Duty Modern Warfare II at sunset

To give Microsoft credit, it's taken a very niche view of Sony's argument to form a response. However, it has spun it into a bizarre retort that totally detaches the interwoven financial and market popularity stakes from the 'quality' of the games. Just to be clear, we have no 'side' here: both greedy corporations add whatever spin they need on reality to distort things to their favour — it's just that this one is so blatant it's farcical. We mean, "outranked in user polls on PlayStation" doesn't exactly give us the most impartial source, does it? Nor would said poll be qualitative or comprehensive. Indeed, a poll of what players are playing shows that Modern Warfare II sits on top of the PlayStation Chart week after week — it is uniquely popular.

The Metacritic scores and industry reviews suggestion is a little odd. Modern Warfare (2019) is one of the best FPS games on PlayStation and, while other singleplayer FPS games certainly outrank it critically, very few multiplayer shooters do (and 'competitor' Overwatch 2 is even owned by Activision Blizzard). Outside of that pool, it appears Microsoft is trying to suggest Sony's PlayStation Studios reviews are better. But then, why would a God of War Ragnarok review score be relevant to what Call of Duty does? In fact, the last PlayStation-made FPS was Killzone Shadowfall which has a 73 on Metacritic, bettered or matched by all the recent Call of Duty games.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare IICall of Duty Modern Warfare II

Note that the social media point mentions a single series entry, but not the series moniker CoD or Call of Duty which is commonly the mantle every game takes on when it is the latest release. They are all just bizarre and absurdly abstracted arguments in context to us. Is it the same for you? Don't forget, we are not exactly fond of Sony's weak argument either. Let us know what you think of this in the comments, we look forward to seeing you there! Check out our best PS4 games, though — we know what we are on about there.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and other gaming news. He writes about exclusives like The Last of Us and God of War, PS Plus news, and his favourite games — The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, and explosive racers — before an evening swim.
Hide ads
View discussion...
Hide ads