Microsoft offered Sony Call Of Duty on PlayStation Plus

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Screenshot: Activision

Like Microsoft’s attempt to buy beleaguered publisher Activision Blizzard starting to hit some serious roadblocksthe software giant is being forced to make some concessions in an attempt to seal the deal.

One of these is a series of promises to rival platform holders that if Microsoft were to succeed in the purchase, the best-selling Duty calls series will remain on their systems for the next ten years (at least). The offer went quite well with Valve and was professionally recognized by Nintendobut Sony, Microsoft’s chief rival in the console space, is reportedly not as keen.

That’s understandable from Sony’s side! They have the most to lose if the Activision sale goes through, and Microsoft knows this, which is why they are becoming increasingly – and increasingly public – in their frustration with PlayStation.

Some of that frustration can perhaps be explained of this new report on Bloombergwhich says that in addition to promising that Duty calls games will remain on PlayStation for at least the next decade as standalone, retail titles (in addition to arriving on the same day as they did on other systems), Microsoft also told Sony that the series could be offered on the PlayStation Plus subscription service.

Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service has dramatically changed the video game landscape in recent years, and many people simply assumed that Duty calls series on Xbox’s subscription platform – at the expense of Sony’s – would have been one of the driving forces behind the whole Activision purchase in the first place.

So this report, if true, is certainly a surprise. It is important to note that this is not a recent addition to the pledge, designed to sweeten the deal for a reluctant rival; Bloomberg says the Play Station Plus aspect was part of the original 10-year deal that Sony is apparently not happy with (an offer made when Microsoft’s first 3-year promise was knocked back).

FTC is also not happy with Microsoft’s attempt to buy Activision. Nor has the EU, which has “opened a full-scale investigation” into the proposed deal, says in a statement:

The Commission’s preliminary investigation shows that the transaction could significantly reduce competition in the markets for the distribution of console and PC video games, including multi-game subscription services and/or cloud game streaming services, and for PC operating systems.

The preliminary investigation suggests that Microsoft may have the opportunity, as well as a potential financial incentive, to engage in exclusionary strategies against Microsoft’s rival distributors of console video games.

In the UK, meanwhile, is the Competition and Markets Authority also examines the agreement, saying the merger “could be expected to result in a significant lessening of competition in any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”

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