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Sony Says Call of Duty 'Influences Users' Console Choice' When Asked About Xbox Owning the IP

Sony Says Call of Duty 'Influences Users' Console Choice' When Asked About Xbox Owning the IP - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 August 2022 / 2,904 Views

Microsoft is working to acquire Activision Blizzard and is working with regulators from several countries. One of them is Brazil, which has published its review process online, as spotted by ResetEra. Brazil's regulatory body asked several questions to tech giants and video game publishers, including Sony.

Sony says Call of Duty is an important IP for PlayStation and it is a franchise that "influences users' console choice," according to a translation by VideoGamesChronicle.

"[Call of Duty] an essential game: a blockbuster, an AAA-type game that has no rival," claims Sony.

Sony Says Call of Duty 'Influences Users' Console Choice' When Asked About Xbox Owning the IP

"According to a 2019 study, 'The importance of Call of Duty to entertainment, in general, is indescribable,'" the company added. "The brand was the only video game IP to break into 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’ choice of console, and its community of loyal users is entrenched enough that even if a competitor had the budget to develop a similar product, it would not be able to rival it."

Sony explained that each Call of Duty game takes three to five years to develop and Activision is able to release a new entry every year with investment of hundreds of million of dollars.

"Approximately 1,200 people work on each version and another 1,500 are involved in publishing and distribution," said Sony. "Thus, Call of Duty alone has more developers than most game companies employ across its entire development portfolio, including AAA studios.

"Also, given its plans to recruit 2,000 additional developers by 2021, Activision probably expects Call of Duty to become even more successful in the future.

"No other developer can devote the same level of resources and expertise in game development. Even if they could do that, Call of Duty is overly entrenched, so that no rival – no matter how relevant they are – can catch up."

Sony Says Call of Duty 'Influences Users' Console Choice' When Asked About Xbox Owning the IP

Sony added that Call of Duty is a series on its own level of popularity and it is has been the "overwhelmingly the best-selling game" for its genre.

"It is synonymous with first-person shooter games and essentially defines that category," said Sony. "This is also demonstrated by player engagement on social media: Call of Duty has over 24 million followers on Facebook versus 7 million for Battlefield; and over 12 million followers on Instagram versus 2 million for Battlefield."

Sony added, "To say the least, players would be unlikely to switch to alternative games, as they would lose that familiarity, those skills and even the friends they made playing the Call of Duty games.

"Even in weaker years like 2021, Call of Duty still managed to outperform most other games by a considerable margin. Call of Duty: Vanguard (2021), for example, was widely regarded as weaker than previous years’ titles, but was still one of the best-selling games of 2021. In other words, even in a bad year, players remain loyal to the brand and continue to buy the game."

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer previously stated Microsoft's "intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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47 Comments
aTokenYeti (on 01 August 2022)

The entire thread is an interesting read, a number of major industry players were questioned by Brazilian regulators about their thoughts on the acquisition.

The big American tech giants (Apple, Amazon, Google) were ambivalent about the deal
The major AAA publishers (companies like Ubisoft) did not have a problem with the deal.
The only company that was completely negative was Sony

  • +10
Imaginedvl aTokenYeti (on 01 August 2022)

It would have been surprising to be different :) Sony should be 100% against it; this is attacking their business at the core. They cannot block it (and it will go through) but they have to try and while the great majority of the industry has no issue with the deal, it is by far the biggest threat to Sony business in the past few years. (not threat in a sense that it will kill their business, but grab a significant chunk of it compared to anything that Microsoft or Nintendo managed to do before).

Hoeg Law about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI5aZ3YJfcc&ab_channel=HoegLaw
He covers the answers very well and even goes further than just the answers and the rationale Sony has while providing those answers. (Remember, Sony is a business at the end)

  • +4
DonFerrari aTokenYeti (on 01 August 2022)

That is because from the companies you listed the only one that could be potentially affected negatively would be Sony. For the others almost nothing change.

  • 0
pukem0n DonFerrari (on 03 August 2022)

the others should be in favor of the acquisition, since it frees up money from COD buyers to invest somewhere else when it goes to Game Pass day 1.

  • +2
LudicrousSpeed (on 01 August 2022)

Funny to see Sony upset what with all the timed exclusives they buy and keep off Xbox for 12 months+ lol

  • +5
DonFerrari LudicrousSpeed (on 02 August 2022)

I think it is even funnier MS paying close to 70B on Acti to say the game isn't that special.

  • -1
LudicrousSpeed DonFerrari (on 02 August 2022)

It’s almost as if there is a whole stable of developers and IP’s they are paying 70B for and not just CoD.

  • +3
DonFerrari LudicrousSpeed (on 02 August 2022)

You mean the main IP and what most of their teams have been doing for the past few years? Sure the other Activision games are a lot bigger, bring more money and have more pull than CoD.
I imagine if I was the one saying CoD isn't that relevant what you would be saying.

  • -2
LudicrousSpeed DonFerrari (on 02 August 2022)

None of that is relevant to the nonsense you said or the correction I made.

They’re buying a ton of studios and IP’s, lots of which are huge. They aren’t paying 70B for CoD. Hope that helps.

  • +3
pukem0n DonFerrari (on 03 August 2022)

70b$ will be laughably low in hindsight in 10 years. IPs, metaverse, entry to the mobile market are all important for Microsoft. they suddenly have one of the biggest mobile game publishers. that alone is worth a lot. And 70b$ really isn't that much for them. Since they announced the deal they have made half of that in profit. end of the year they will have had the whole sum as profit.

  • +1
KratosLives pukem0n (on 04 August 2022)

You're dreaming if you think they made anywhere near back in profit.

  • 0
DonFerrari pukem0n (on 04 August 2022)

https://investor.activision.com/news-releases/news-release-details/activision-blizzard-announces-fourth-quarter-and-2021-financial#:~:text=For%20the%20year%20ended%20December,GAAP%20operating%20margin%20was%2037%25.

Activision Blizzard makes like 8B of revenue per year and 2B of profit. It wouldn't profit 70B in a year. And how would Xbox have already received half of the investment in profit if the deal haven't even closed yet?

The money used to buy Acti was from MS warchest not Xbox division. They haven't profited 70B even if you sum all the years since release.

  • -3
LudicrousSpeed DonFerrari (on 04 August 2022)

He clearly said Microsoft, not the Xbox division.

  • +2
Qwark LudicrousSpeed (on 04 August 2022)

Microsoft could even buy Sony and make it back within a year. This doesn't say it's a good buy. The buy is made for a small division within Microsoft, which has in its total lifetime never made 70b, hell even PlayStation never made that much profit in all its years.

Even now Xbox is but a small division within Microsoft.

  • +2
DonFerrari LudicrousSpeed (on 04 August 2022)

No one doubt MS is making a lot of money, but in context the profit from MS have nothing to do with Acti purchase, so what is the relevance?

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed DonFerrari (on 04 August 2022)

How in the world does the profit of Microsoft have nothing to do with the ActivisionBlizzard purchase? Microsoft is the one making the purchase.

What the poster said was that MS, not Xbox, makes tons of money and have already made back half of what they’re spending on ActivisionBlizzard. The only irrelevant part is your reply where you focus on the Xbox division.

  • 0
Imaginedvl DonFerrari (on 04 August 2022)

I think you missed his point (he is talking about Microsoft... Not Activision profit)... Now even if "recouping" on whatever you buy is not really a thing and does not make sense (people keep saying stuff like that). Microsoft will OWN all the assets, profits, etc... from all Activision; and this will increase the value of Microsoft. And basically, the 70B is a mix of how much the value of Microsoft will increase + a premium for future profit usually stretched to several years. But nobody needs to recoup 70B.

It was the same for Behtesda, Bungie, etc... They do not need to "recoup" whatever price they paid for it. They OWN it and their value/assets/profits... It is like they are throwing this money into a hole lol and absolutely need to get that money back...

  • +1
DonFerrari Imaginedvl (on 04 August 2022)

His point is completely pointless. It is akin to say GP brings billions in profit because MS itself is profiting a lot, or saying Xbox is worthy trillions because MS is worth trillions.
Again, just to reinforce because seems like this is always forgotten, the purchase wouldn't be possible by Xbox department and the payback wouldn't ever come over there. For MS sure it is peanuts, but as Qwark said they could buy all the publishers, devs, Sony and Nintendo and hardly dent their finances, does that mean anything on Xbox success itself?

  • 0
Imaginedvl DonFerrari (on 04 August 2022)

Nobody said Xbox could buy anything; why do you even keep bringing this. You are just coming up with that over and over.... Microsoft is the company, not Xbox. And everybody is talking about what Microsoft can or cannot do...
Same goes with the "payback". There is no such thing; that's not how things work in the real world.

  • +1
DonFerrari Imaginedvl (on 04 August 2022)

And no one would ever say that MS is lacking money, so?

  • 0
DonFerrari (on 01 August 2022)

Although it would never determine the console I chose, there is no denial CoD have a pretty big importance on the industry and customer choice.

  • +4
Leynos DonFerrari (on 01 August 2022)

Importance? No. Influence, sadly yes. Influence in a lot of bad industry habits in greed.

  • +2
AkimboCurly (on 01 August 2022)

I should think this is probably true and formed a large part of the justification for paying top dollar for Activision.

  • +2
KratosLives (on 04 August 2022)

In 7 to10 years,I don't think cod will be relevant anymore.

  • 0
DonFerrari KratosLives (on 04 August 2022)

It will all depends on how fast competition try to overtake them. But yes it is possible with enough effort and investment. But not certain imho.

  • 0
UnderwaterFunktown (on 02 August 2022)

This seems a little pointless when Microsoft has stated that they want to keep CoD on PlayStation, and I for one also believe that's in their best interest. Sure it does influence the console choice for some, but realistically most console players are more loyal/habit-bound to their console of choice than to something like CoD, many would just as soon pick up a different shooter if it was no longer being released for their console. In the big picture it's a few percent more Xbox consoles sold in some regions compared to losing a massive amount of CoD revenue (because that part is unavoidable if they drop PlayStation), it's a guaranteed loss in the foreseeable future. Timed exclusivity could be a different story though and it is certainly possible that they will go for that at some point in an attempt to get the best of both worlds.

  • 0
dane007 (on 01 August 2022)

I hope in future that cod is exclusive to xbox as it will make competition more fun if what Sony say is true

  • 0
KratosLives dane007 (on 04 August 2022)

Won't happen, as Sony will block bungie from Xbox.

  • 0
dane007 KratosLives (on 04 August 2022)

Sony can't as one of the conditions to own bungie was to be fully independent when they were owned and to make multiplat games. Where's there wasn't any such deal for cod. Ms will honor any games that was promised prior to purchase but after that it's possible. Plus we all know cod is far more popular to anything bungie makes.

  • +1
Imaginedvl dane007 (on 04 August 2022)

Yes; it does not matter if you like the game or not. It is foolish to think anything come close to Call of Duty in the FPS genre. There is a very good reason why Sony does not see this acquisition from a good eye and it is def. not because of Heroes of the Storms :)

  • +2
Imaginedvl KratosLives (on 04 August 2022)

They cannot block them. It is part of the contract. We are not 100% sure about to which extend tho, maybe for a new game, they have some options. Time will tell.

  • +1
Qwark (on 01 August 2022)

The influence of Call of Duty is fading a bit in recent years. However Sony definitely needs to up their game to counter the loss of this game. I would say buying Square Japan would be a good call. Especially if they can make an online FF for pc and PlayStation. They should allow Square to make and release games like Triangle Strategy on both Switch and PC, it's easy money after all.

  • -1
DonFerrari Qwark (on 01 August 2022)

Maybe (and I don't like it) Guerrila could partner with Bungie to make Resistance 4 or even worse Resistance BR as a mean of giving fps title on the platform and GAAS at once.

  • -1
V-r0cK DonFerrari (on 01 August 2022)

You mean Guerilla Games can go back and make Killzone, and Insomniac to go back and make Resistance? Personally GG and Insom have come a long way since their latest installments of their perspective FPS games and wont require Bungie's assistance. However Bungie can try and make a new FPS just for Sony. What Sony needs is a present-day FPS game to counter games like Modern Warfare which is what I feel really makes CoD games stand out. Anything post-apocalypses / sci-fi then then GG and Insom already has that covered.

  • 0
DonFerrari V-r0cK (on 02 August 2022)

Bungie and Sony already stated the games from Bungie will be multiplatform (and in a way that seemed that Xbox would be included).
I liked KZ2, didn't play Resistance... but I have no doubt Bungie knowhow would be above GG and Insomniac on FPS. Both companies improved a lot at making games, but that wasn't making FPS, much less GAAS. So I could see Bungie helping them on that, even though I much prefer what both studios are doing now.

  • 0
V-r0cK DonFerrari (on 02 August 2022)

Resistance was really fun, especially with coop. I guess if Bungie's agreement with Sony is only allowed to make games multiplatform then yea it'd be nice for Bungie to assist with GG and Insom with KZ and Resistance. Would be nice if Sony can get a few exclusives from Bungie tho, just to see what they can do with just the PS5 only.

  • +1
DonFerrari V-r0cK (on 02 August 2022)

I agree with you. And maybe it is just that Sony gave them full independence to decide, and if they think a project would do fine if PS only, maybe a PSVR2 title that isn't massive, they would do exclusive.

  • -2
V-r0cK DonFerrari (on 02 August 2022)

Oh ya there's upcoming PSVR, I'm sure/hoping Sony has some big games to make players want to buy it. A Bungie game would definitely be intriguing to see.

  • +1
DonFerrari V-r0cK (on 02 August 2022)

I agree.

  • -2
scrapking V-r0cK (on 03 August 2022)

Does Bungie still have the Marathon IP? Or did Microsoft end up with that?

  • +1
pukem0n DonFerrari (on 03 August 2022)

no, nobody gives a flying f about Resistance and Killzone. People want more 3rd person action adventures and Insomniac and Guerilla will not go back to making shooters. Marvel games and Horizon are too successful

  • +1
DonFerrari pukem0n (on 04 August 2022)

Nobody seems a pretty bold claim as indeed some have said they want a sequel.

  • 0
kazuyamishima (on 01 August 2022)

I think Sony is overestimating the impact that COD still creates.

  • -9
Imaginedvl kazuyamishima (on 02 August 2022)

I think you are greatly underestimating the impact that COD still creates :)

  • +5
pukem0n kazuyamishima (on 03 August 2022)

yeah, best selling game every year for the last decade. nobody cares about COD.

  • +3
scrapking kazuyamishima (on 03 August 2022)

I'm not even a COD fan, but I can't help but recognize that it's consistently the top selling game every year, year after year, in many markets. So no, I don't think it's an overestimation at all.

  • +4
smroadkill15 kazuyamishima (on 04 August 2022)

CoD brings in way more revenue annually than any other franchise on both Xbox and Playstation. If CoD ceased to release any new games on Playstation, that would be a huge blow to Sony. There's really no way to downplay it.

  • +2