Microsoft’s plan to acquire Activision Blizzard is currently being reviewed by regulators around the world, and in Brazil, Sony’s official response to this government’s questions has been released. According to these documents, Sony believes that once Microsoft owns the Call of Duty franchise as part of the acquisition, it will have the power to influence users’ console choices.

“The brand was the only video game IP to enter the top 10 of all entertainment brands among fans, joining powerhouses such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Call of Duty is so popular that it influences users’ console choice, and its community of loyal users is deep enough that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, they wouldn’t be able to. compete.”

Sony added that the level of investment Activision commits to every Call of Duty game is unmatched, and with a dedicated workforce spread across multiple dedicated studios, is one of the reasons the franchise is a annual bestseller. This level of success has in turn made Call of Duty an incredibly profitable franchise and a globally recognized brand, with a dedicated fanbase.

Last February, Microsoft reiterated its intention to continue developing Activision franchises for competing console platforms and said it would continue to support Call of Duty on PlayStation “beyond the existing agreement.” and in the future. Microsoft had previously confirmed that it would honor all existing publishing agreements, specifically 2022’s Modern Warfare 2, 2023’s Call of Duty: Warzone 2, and a new mainline Call of Duty release in late 2023.

Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard was announced in January 2022 and is expected to be finalized by June 2023, with US FTC approval expected later this month. Beyond this US regulator, the acquisition still needs to be approved by other government watchdog groups such as the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

Activision Blizzard still in good shape despite the figures of one of its flagship licenses

Right now we are in the heart of the balance sheet period from different studios. Activision Blizzard is no exception and obviously shared its latest figures during a call to investors dated August 1st. Whether Call of Duty player numbers are at their lowest since 2019, but microtransactions still achieved a pretty impressive number.

Call of Duty worries but the numbers are there

It’s no real surprise, but according to Activision Blizzard’s latest financial report, players are deserting Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard more than ever, with a falling number of monthly players free. The latter is in fact fell below 100 million playersfor the first time since 2019. While in June 2021 there were more than 127 million monthly active users on consoles, PC and mobile, they are only 94 million in June 2022.

And while we thought the studio was going to take a step back and take longer to release other Call of Duty games, aside from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Warzone 2, the year 2023 will still have premium paid Call of Duty content.

However, despite a fairly significant drop in the number of players, microtransactions save the day and have managed to generate no less than $1.2 billion, even though Activision admitted that second quarter revenue was down from last year in the same era. The developer took the opportunity to announce that it was still better than the first quarter. The studio is quite strong in this area since it offers, throughout the year for Warzone, Vanguard, Black Ops Cold War and even sometimes Modern Warfare, ever more attractive packs with quite original skins.

Lately, players have indeed had the right to bundles featuring the famous King Kong or Godzilla, but also even more recently the Terminator with the T-800 and the T-1000.

Despite these worrying numbers, at least when it comes to Warzone attendance, the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 could be a game changer since the title seems to be more than ever expected by the community. In addition, according to the words of the studio, the title would be the most successful Call of Duty game of the license, even if we have the impression of hearing that every year. Regarding the game, we should have news soon enough since several lucky ones have been invited very recently in order to be able to test the beast a little!

Activision Will Fill Next Year’s CoD Gap With Paid Content

Next year will be an unusual year of transition for the Call of Duty franchise. While Microsoft is acquiring the series publisher, Activision will not release a new mainline entry in the series and will instead focus on paid content. The company confirmed this while reporting a significant drop in revenue.

This week, Activision Blizzard announced plans to release “premium content” for Call of Duty in 2023, likely to make up for the lack of a full new release that year. The news is part of the company’s financial report for the second quarter of 2022 which indicates decreasing user engagement with the franchise.

In February, Activision revealed that it wouldn’t release a mainline Call of Duty title in 2023, delaying Black Ops studio Treyarch’s next game. The absence will mark the first year since 2004 without a new entry as the franchise reaches its 20th anniversary.

Activision hasn’t specified what form the new premium content will take, but it could represent a change or rollback for Call of Duty. The series previously spanned the core games with paid map packs, but ended the practice with 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, turning to battle passes and other microtransactions to ensure that all players had the same cards. Content for 2023 will likely be for the Modern Warfare sequel, which launches on October 28. The sequel to Activision’s free Call of Duty Warzone releases later this year.

Second-quarter financial results containing Activision’s announcement show overall revenue down nearly 30% year-over-year, likely due to a significant drop in Call of Duty player count . Over the past year, the number of monthly active users reported by Activision has steadily dropped each quarter, from 127 million in June 2021 to 94 million in June 2022. The number of active players has not fallen below by 100 million since 2019. In contrast, Blizzard and King user numbers have seen many small shifts over the same period.

Sony spooked by Microsoft over Call of Duty addition to Game Pass

Sony speaks about the arrival of Call of Duty in the Xbox catalog

Sony answered various questions in a document in Portuguese sent to the competition authority in Brazil and indicated its fears about the arrival of Call of Duty in the Xbox catalog. Here is what the manufacturer and publisher said on the subject:

Activision’s Call of Duty is a must-have game : a “blockbuster”, a AAA type game that has no rival. According to a 2019 study “The importance of Call of Duty to entertainment in general is indescribable. The brand was the only video game IP to enter the top 10 of all entertainment brands among fanatics, joining powerhouses like Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. The console’s choice and its network of loyal users is so ingrained that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, they wouldn’t be able to compete.

Sony therefore judges that it is impossible to compete with the license, even if we tried to develop a game with a similar budget., so popular is Call of Duty and has its loyal following. We remind you in passing that the next game of the license, COD Modern Warfare 2 will not be available in the Game Pass, at least when it is released, but that might not be the case for future Call of Duty games hence Sony’s feared logic.

Sony gives its opinion on Xbox Game Pass

In the same document, Sony also expressed its fear of Game Pass. According to them, Game Pass manages to occupy 60-70% of the global market for subscription services and around 70-80% in Brazil when it comes to PC subscription.