After the CMA’s decision, the steps to be taken by Microsoft and Sony, who want to dominate the sector, will be stronger than in the past.
In its attempt to acquire Activision-Blizzard, the UK Competition and Markets Authority did not authorise Microsoft. Although the company announced that it will appeal this decision, it seems that a difficult process awaits both Sony and Microsoft.
Will the console war between Microsoft and Sony revive?
Microsoft’s attempt to buy Activision-Blizzard for 68.7 billion dollars does not seem to be going to calm down. The statements made after the CMA’s decision indicate that Microsoft will talk about the issue for a long time and try different legal remedies. However, this leads us to evaluate different issues. Firstly, let’s start by explaining why Microsoft is trying to buy Activision-Blizard.
After Microsoft announced the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard at the beginning of last year, the industry was suddenly overwhelmed with questions and even confusion. One of the most important reasons for this was the Call of Duty brand held by Activision. Sony filed a counter-suit to prevent the acquisition, claiming that this game played a crucial role in the sales of its consoles.
Read More: How Many Players Will Sony Lose?
The fact that Microsoft, which suffered a great defeat in the last generation of consoles, could not reach the sales it wanted in the current generation, forced the company to take stronger steps, to be permanent in the sector and to make attempts to get a bigger share of the cake. Announcements such as a strong game sales platform, new accessories and technologies started to come one after another. It has taken extremely positive steps to regain its lost reputation.
However, it was of course impossible for these to be enough alone. On the other hand, the most important way to become a more profitable company that was constantly talked about in the gaming industry was through its content library. Although Microsoft had important titles in its hands, it was not enough to ensure that the company could achieve the desired rise. For this reason, they preferred the easiest way, the acquisition method.
It started by acquiring Zenimax, the roof company of Bethesda. When this acquisition was announced, it did not have the potential to affect other console manufacturers too much. However, Microsoft’s position in the game consoles market, as well as being one of the dominant platforms of PC gaming, would create an industry that would completely change direction with the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard (and this chance still continues).
The fact that Activision-Blizzard’s game brands are very strong shows that Sony’s hand will be weakened on these titles.
Important game titles owned / published by Activision-Blizzard
Although not all of the games on the list make sense for Sony, some of them are among the productions that shape the industry by closing the gap of others.
- Call of Duty
- Candy Crush
- Crash Bandicoot
- DJ Hero
- Empire Earth
- Gabriel Knight
- Guitar Hero
- Heroes of the Storm
- Lost Vikings
- Soldier of Fortune
- Spyro the Dragon
- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
- World of Warcraft
This means that titles such as Diablo and Overwatch, let alone Call of Duty, as well as Guitar Hero, Spyro, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Crash Bandicoot, which have become synonymous with PlayStation consoles, may not be available on PlayStation consoles.
Microsoft saying that it would continue to bring Call of Duty to PlayStation platforms for 10 years in order to get Sony to back off didn’t work out so well. Anyway, in my opinion, the prominence of Call of Duty games on the tip of the iceberg was only put forward as an example. The possibility that Activision-Blizzard will lose other titles may push Sony from the leading console manufacturer to the bottom of the list.
Who would want to be in such a situation? Especially if billions of dollars are being talked about… At this point, Sony turned to try legal remedies, the only trump card in its hand. However, the fact that Microsoft has managed to win the hearts of the gamers with Xbox Game Pass, especially in the recent period, caused things to backfire a little on the Sony side. After all, we do not have a PlayStation brand as strong as it was at the time of PS4. With the effect of the pandemic, they are experiencing regressions in terms of devices, games and accessories.
In addition, Sony, which brought games identified with the concept of “exclusive” in the industry and then released them on PC, started to experience cracks in their main audience. Because they were promised that they could only play PS Exclusive Games on Playstation.
We have always seen similar situations in the comments in time. In the verbal arguments between the fanatics of the two consoles, the Sony side said “You don’t even have Uncharted”, while the Microsoft side couldn’t find a game to talk. Although sometimes games such as “Halo” were put forward, a much better production, Call of Duty, was already on PlayStation consoles.
What will happen now?
At this point, I think Microsoft and Sony are the losers of the case. Microsoft lost the lawsuit and Sony lost a huge fanatic player base. Of course, Microsoft will not let this go so easily. However, at this stage, it seems that things will not go as fast as they want and will give Sony time to make new moves.
Microsoft needs to make many new announcements in order to reach the position they want. Likewise, in order for Sony to maintain their position, they needs to create new exclusives to the platform and take steps to regain their old audience.
Microsoft took the first step and announced that they will organise a Showcase on 11 June. This event, which coincides with E3, will be a showcase where the company will play all its trump cards. Although we will get a lot of details about long-awaited productions such as Starfield, I believe that Microsoft will make a much bigger announcement to impress the gamers.
On the other hand, on the Sony front, it is rumoured that PlayStation will organise a bigger event than the State of Play and Showcases that have taken place in recent months. However, in my opinion, showing content such as PlayStation 5 Pro or Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 at this event will not be enough to satisfy me, at least.
In order for Sony to regain its former reputation and strengthen its position, they, like Microsoft, must make a series of completely innovative announcements that will bring the excitement of the gamers to the top. Because they still don’t have a title that is enough for PS5 or that excites me.
Good for the Gamers
The growing competition between Microsoft and Sony will be beneficial for us. Both companies, especially having a competition like the PS3 and X360 time, will bring IPs announced one after the other. We will see how true these are after the events to be held in June.