Sony says Call of Duty is an 'essential game', Microsoft disagrees

Microsoft claims there's nothing unique about Activision Blizzard games that'd make them a must-have for rival platforms.


Microsoft is actively in the process of acquiring Activision/Blizzard, and with that acquisition comes questions regarding things like exclusivity and what Microsoft plans to do with popular franchises like Call of Duty.

According to a response from Sony in regards to questions from Brazil’s regulatory body (as reported by Resetera and translated by VGC), it suggests that Call of Duty “influences users’ console choice” and that it’s an “essential AAA game that has no rival.”

Promo image for the 2022 title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II featuring several soldiers sitting next to one another in a dim environment lit by red lights.
© Activision Blizzard

The company goes on to point out that each Call of Duty release takes around 3-5 years to develop, and as Activision releases one Call of Duty game per year, “this equates to an annual investment of hundreds of millions of dollars.” Furthermore, Sony posits that no other developer can really match the sheer level of resources and expertise that goes into developing Call of Duty titles.

While Sony makes a compelling case, Microsoft sees things a little differently. In a response sourced from a report from the New Zealand Commerce Commission in June, Microsoft claims there is “nothing unique about the video games developed and published by Activision” and that none of the games, including Call of Duty, are “must-have games” for any rival competitor. For example, Sony.

Promo image for the 2022 game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II featuring two soldiers in a field, one wearing a skull mask.
© Activision Blizzard

It then goes on to offer reassurance that it doesn’t intend to withdraw content, including Call of Duty, from other platforms such as PlayStation and Nintendo.

It’s a bit ironic that Microsoft would suggest that none of the games developed and published by Activision Blizzard are must-haves given that Microsoft acquired the company for a staggering $68.7 billion. Clearly, the company does recognize Activision Blizzard as valuable, and one would think this would include the games that come with it that have helped establish Activision Blizzard as a successful company worth acquiring.

With that being said, we’re curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. Who do you think is more on the money when it comes to the importance of Call of Duty, Sony or Microsoft? Let us know in Chatty. For more on what else Sony has been up to lately, be sure to read through some of our previous coverage including how Sony plans to have more PS5s for sale this holiday season.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 3, 2022 3:15 PM

    Morgan Shaver posted a new article, Sony says Call of Duty is an 'essential game', Microsoft disagrees

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      August 3, 2022 3:29 PM

      “This game SUCKS. We’ll take it!” -Microsoft

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      August 3, 2022 3:46 PM

      more essential than God of War? Final Fantasy? Knack 2? Fromsoft games?

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        August 3, 2022 3:53 PM

        I would say probably so. I think the series is comparable to the GTA franchise (at least the infinite ward games).

        It has a bigger target audience than God of War/FF/From games and it's in a league of its own when it comes to polish and production values for an FPS. Nothing else is in the same ballpark, or even remotely close.

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      August 3, 2022 4:03 PM

      I'm an out of touch old person but I don't think anyone would REALLY care if COD just went away entirely

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        August 3, 2022 4:30 PM

        But what about use xXx_420scope69_xXx??? Won't someone think about the children???

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          August 3, 2022 4:40 PM

          They'd just switch to another, better shooter like Apex Legends. It's not like there's a shortage of shooter games without a story to play. I know you're being sarcastic and I haven't played COD for years and years so maybe I'm missing what the draw is, but last time I did it was just a super generic shooter that didn't really bring anything new to the table.

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            August 3, 2022 4:42 PM

            Oh, that's not true. I played Warzone and every time I played I just walked away wishing I'd spent that time playing Aoex Legends instead because at least it had relatively unique gameplay in comparison.

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        August 4, 2022 6:52 AM

        I mean, in the sense that something similar would almost certainly replace it, you're right.

        There isn't really anything artistically interesting or unique about the franchise, and needless to say, FPS MP-focused games with real-world guns aren't going anywhere even if CoD vanished overnight.

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          August 4, 2022 7:41 AM

          This is my view as well. The IP isn't artistically unique, and it's an easy bet that something would instantly fill the void. I assume this is the reasoning for MS's view. Although, they kind of need to be careful. Winning the argument on this merit opens the door for counter arguments on this line in the future.

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        August 4, 2022 7:46 AM

        have tried other FPS games and COD is awful and i still am baffled how players have fun in it. each to their own

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        August 4, 2022 7:52 AM

        It's one of the most popular games in the world.

        I haven't played it in years, but it's hugely enjoyed by millions. *Lots* of people play.

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          August 4, 2022 8:02 AM

          Yeah, I get that. I suspect pretty strongly that if it didn't have another yearly iteration that *lots* of people would just go play something else and barely even think twice about it.

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        August 4, 2022 7:55 AM

        It's my number one played series...sorry you are bad at multiplayer?

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          August 4, 2022 8:03 AM

          That's a weird thing to assume but you do you.

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            August 4, 2022 8:05 AM

            It's just as easy to assume that the number one shooter year after year could just vanish and no one would care. Hubris much?

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      August 3, 2022 8:13 PM

      I haven’t played a Call of Duty since the one where you shoot civilians in the airport. Has the gameplay evolved much from there.

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        August 3, 2022 8:13 PM


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        August 4, 2022 5:50 AM

        The single player campaigns are fucking incredible, especially the last Infinite Ward one.

        The gameplay has basically evolved to become "an FPS Michael Bay film", they are super fun.

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      August 4, 2022 5:36 AM

      It may be essential to some, but I'd say all the "big name" games are. Personally, I've never played a CoD game & have no intentions to start.

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