Microsoft has argued in its ongoing case with the CMA that Call of Duty, nor Activision, has “significant market power”.
The publisher acknowledges that Activision is “loved by millions of gamers worldwide”, but dismisses the CMA’s theories that the Call of Duty franchise has a significant impact on the market.
In its argument, Microsoft says that only two of the top 20 console titles in the UK in 2021 were Activision titles, one of which was Call of Duty.
It’s argued that Call of Duty is not unique compared to many other games on the market, with Microsoft using four key points to point out why it’s not the case.
- Call of Duty is consistently outranked in user polls on PlayStation (e.g., Sony’s annual “game of the year” poll has consistently named games other than Call of Duty as their “game of the year” or “most anticipated game”).
- Call of Duty is consistently outranked on Metacritic scores (e.g., Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was ranked number 18 in 2020 (no. 126 in all-time scores) and Call of Duty: Vanguard was ranked number 73 in 2021 (no. 159 in the alltime scores)).
- Call of Duty is consistently outranked in industry reviews of the top games (e.g., reviews published by IGN, USA Today, Business Insider, Game Rant and others).
- Call of Duty does not drive social media conversations. There were more than 2.4 billion tweets about gaming in 2021 and yet, no Call of Duty title made it into the top ten “Most Talked About Video Games” on Twitter last year.
It’s unclear if these points are referring to just the term “Call of Duty”, or the various other references that Call of Duty is given such as “CoD” or the individual names of the games such as “Vanguard” or “Modern Warfare 2”.
The counter comes after Sony said that Call of Duty is an incredibly strong franchise and said that other shooters could not compete.
“Despite the similarities between Call of Duty and Battlefield – and despite EA’s track record in developing other successful AAA franchises – the Battlefield franchise cannot keep up. As of August 2021, more than 400 million Call of Duty games had been sold, while Battlefield had sold just 88.7 million copies”, Sony said.
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