It came as a shock when Microsoft announced it was acquiring Activision Blizzard in an all-cash deal worth $68.7 billion earlier this year. The deal, which is expected to close in 2023, has come under heavy scrutiny from Sony, which has argued that the acquisition would have "major negative implications for gamers."
Since then, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority has opened an investigation into the purchase, stating, "The CMA is concerned that if Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard it could harm rivals, including recent and future entrants into gaming, by refusing them access to Activision Blizzard games or providing access on much worse terms." Sony has approved of this statement made by the CMA, and Microsoft has issued a response to the issues raised by the UK agency, claiming that Sony's exclusives are superior to theirs.
Microsoft asserted that Sony doesn't need Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty to succeed, pointing out that Sony is "the dominant console provider" with some of the best exclusives in the market, such as God of War, The Last of Us, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Uncharted, Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Days Gone. The statement adds that "many of [Sony's first-party franchises] are of better quality", which essentially means that Microsoft acknowledges that Sony produces superior games.
While this will go down in history as a documented admission of which game developer is better, Microsoft recognizes that there is a lot of red tape they need to clear before the deal goes through, and this might just be a shrewd gambit to appease Sony. In any case, the acquisition proves that Microsoft is trying to catch up to its biggest competitor.
Speaking of, Sony just effectively threw Battlefield under the bus in a new document sent to the UK government. Sony's lawyers stated that Battlefield cannot keep up with Call of Duty, citing that the sales of Call of Duty dwarf that of Battlefield. Sony is using the dominance of Call of Duty over the past decade as a reason why Microsft shouldn't own such a dominant IP.