The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently announced that they were no longer concerned about the impact of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover on the console market, a decision which was met with surprise by Sony. Sony’s response highlighted the importance of maintaining parity between Xbox and PlayStation versions of Call of Duty, a sentiment echoed by SIE president Jim Ryan’s comments at a Remedies Hearing.
At the hearing, Ryan stressed the potential damage to Sony’s reputation should PlayStation receive a degraded version of the game, saying that “gamers would desert our platform in droves and network effects would exacerbate the problem. Our business would never recover.”
It is clear that players’ expectations for Call of Duty are high, with even Digital Foundry’s in-depth analysis of the game having a “highly influential” effect on where console owners choose to play. Microsoft have since responded to the CMA, affirming that they have “no intention to withhold or degrade access to Call of Duty”.
However, Sony and Jim Ryan’s concerns demonstrate the importance of ensuring parity between Xbox and PlayStation versions of Call of Duty, in order to maintain the highest possible gaming experience for console owners. With the CMA’s decision now made, only time will tell if Microsoft can keep their promise and ensure that gamers’ expectations are met.