Sony Pleased With Xbox-Activision Buyout Investigation: ‘Major Negative Implications for Gamers’

The UK Competition and Markets Authority has recommended a second phase investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as it believes it could stifle competition in the video game industry in the region. Sony replied that it welcomes the announcement of a further investigation.

“By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the games industry,” Sony said in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz. “We want to ensure PlayStation players that they continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on player protection.”

It comes after PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan last week called Xbox’s offer to expand Call of Duty’s availability on PlayStation platforms “inadequate”. Ryan says the extension would have only lasted three more years after the existing agreements expired. There are apparently three Call of Duty games left to release on PlayStation under current deals, including this year’s Modern Warfare 2.

Xbox’s Phil Spencer noted that he still wants to keep Call of Duty a cross-platform franchise, but it was unclear whether it would be indefinitely. Xbox’s expansion offer to PlayStation indicates that the franchise could eventually become exclusive to Microsoft’s ecosystem should the acquisition go through.

Spencer also confirmed that future Call of Duty games will also be coming to Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on PlayStation. That way, he argues, Call of Duty will be available to more players.

Despite the investigation, the Call of Duty series continues as Activision is hosting a Call of Duty Next event later today to reveal more about this year’s release. You can watch the stream on IGN.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey

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