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Microsoft wants to show the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority that it overestimated the effect of Call of Duty on Sony and PlayStation. In a report from Axios, the software giant shared the result of a study it commissioned, which tries to invalidate the watchdog’s own study about PlayStation players moving to Xbox and PC in case COD becomes exclusive.
As part of the British regulator’s concerns, it shared in a published survey that 15% of avid COD players would move to Xbox in case the franchise becomes unavailable to PlayStation in the future. DJS Research conducted the research on PlayStation COD players who played at least 10 hours or spent at least $100 on the game between July 2021 and June 2022.
Respondents were asked what they would be likely to do if they were to find that future Call of Duty game releases were not available on PlayStation. In this scenario, the most common course of action would be to ‘play only Call of Duty games I already own, but not future releases’ (34%). Just over one in five say they would stop playing the Call of Duty series altogether (21%), and just under a quarter (24%) would buy another device (either an Xbox or PC) at their next gaming device purchase.
To oppose this, Microsoft commissioned a study under YouGov, which shows that only 10.5% of COD players (who identified the game as one of their two favorites) would change their consoles. In general, Microsoft said that only 3% of all PlayStation users would buy an Xbox if it theoretically removed COD from PlayStation.
Microsoft’s Competition Law Group Corporate Vice President, Rima Alaily, addressed this, saying the 3% figure was “too small to hurt Sony’s ability to compete and too small to make a withholding strategy profitable for Xbox.”
Although the theoretical situation would only cause a smaller impact compared to what the CMA claims in its own commissioned study, Microsoft still wants to stress that it doesn’t have any intention of removing COD from the rival platform.
“As we have said all along: it makes zero business sense to take Call of Duty off of PlayStation,” Alaily told Axios.
The same statement has been repeatedly mentioned by Microsoft before. In a recent interview with Xbox On, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer underlined again that the main reason for the merger was to build its mobile gaming industry presence. He also stressed the company’s vision “to increase the places where people can play Call of Duty.” Spencer then recalled how the company handled the growth of Minecraft after its acquisition and explained how this is the same future the company wants for COD.
“You obviously don’t make the game bigger by taking it away from anybody,” said Spencer.