PlayStation doesn’t think Battlefield can keep up with Call of Duty much longer

PlayStation doesn’t think Battlefield can keep up with Call of Duty much longer

It’s been a messy old week too Sony and Microsoft. After the UK government released Xbox and PlayStation’s full arguments on the Activision Blizzard acquisition case into the public domain, media types and gamers alike have been trawling the pages and sniffing out bytes of snark issued by both companies in an attempt to make themselves look smaller than they actually are.

The endgame, of course, is for Sony to kick up enough sand that regulators won’t let Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition deal go through. Microsoft, on the other hand, wants to make it look like it needs the massive publisher under its belt to survive against Sony and Nintendo. The result? Everyone looks a little silly, and the back and forth brings a lot of other companies into the mix as well.

Earlier this week we saw Microsoft argue that Call of Duty players are neither unique nor special – my favorite line in all of this so far. We also saw that Microsoft was willing to throw its own exclusives under the bus to look hard-done, as well as calling The Elder Scrolls 6 a “mid-sized” game.

PlayStation also plays the game; Sony notes that Xbox Game Pass is “significantly ahead” of PS Plus in terms of active subscribers (despite Sony’s service having 47+ million users, compared to Xbox Game Pass’ 29 million).

Battlefield isn’t that bad… is it?

And we’re not done yet. In comments discovered in Sony’s 22-page rebuttal to the CMA request, the platform holder throws some shade at Battlefield, care of EA. In the document, Sony argues that Call of Duty is a uniquely important franchise for PlayStation, and cannot be easily replaced by anything else. Like for example Battlefield.

“Call of Duty is not replicable,” Sony says in the document. “Call of Duty is too entrenched for any rival, no matter how well-equipped, to take it. It’s been the best-selling game almost every year for the past decade, and in the first-person shooter (‘FPS’) genre, it’s overwhelmingly the most sold the game.

“Other publishers don’t have the resources or expertise to match its success. To give a concrete example, Electronic Arts – one of the biggest third-party developers after Activision – has been trying for years to produce a rival to Call of Duty with its Battlefield series. Despite the similarities between Call of Duty and Battlefield – and despite EA’s track record of developing other successful triple-A series (such as FIFA, Mass Effect, Need for Speed ​​and Star Wars: Battlefront) – Battlefield cannot series keep up.”

A CoD operator here, watching in awe at the courtroom drama in the gaming industry.

The document goes on to note that by August 2021, more than 400 million Call of Duty games had been sold, while Battlefield has only managed to move 88.7 million. That’s a gap of over 300 million – so Sony has a point. Especially when you consider that last year’s Battlefield 2042 was something of a flop (and as early as February 2022, players were bleeding).

This back and forth between Sony and Microsoft is going to get even uglier as time goes on, and a lot more attention is going to be put on Call of Duty as both companies do what they can to convince regulators that they are right.

It’s going to be an interesting few years in gaming.

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