For the nth time, Microsoft disputes the U.K. Competition and Market Authority's (CMA) concerns regarding its purchase of Activision Blizzard.
According to Axios, Microsoft commissioned a YouGov survey in January. The results show only 3% of PlayStation owners are willing to buy an Xbox console if Microsoft made Call of Duty exclusive. Microsoft claims this proves that it makes "zero business sense" to take Call of Duty off of other platforms, specifically, the PlayStation.
As per Microsoft's Competition Law Group corporate vice president, Rima Alaily, Xbox is "too small to hurt Sony's ability to compete and too small to make a withholding strategy profitable for Xbox."
The statement mirrors earlier concessions made by Microsoft where it ceded the throne to PlayStation, all but confirming it has lost the console wars.
However, it's important to remember that there is a difference in methodology. Previously, the CMA commissioned a similar survey, showing that 15% of active Call of Duty players are willing to make the switch to Xbox platforms if the marquee shooter became exclusive. Although both surveys show a minimal willingness from gamers, the survey used by CMA gave respondents the option to switch to a PC. On the other, the YouGov survey by Microsoft focused exclusively on the Xbox and PlayStation.
The news comes days after the CMA requested Sony to reveal the terms of its third-party deals to Microsoft.
The CMA has until April 26 to make its decision about Microsoft's $70 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard. Meanwhile, the EU's regulatory committee will reveal the results of its deliberations on April 25.
It's interesting that the regulatory bodies are focused on Call of Duty itself and not the Game Pass. Microsoft has confirmed that the Game Pass cannibalizes game sales. But, when you own a massive percentage of the must-play games that's a part of its library, it isn't as big of a deal.
The constant flow of income from subscription services probably offsets the hit game sales will take at launch in the eyes of Microsoft, which is why it's hell-bent on making sure that Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo, all go to the Game Pass as soon as possible.
Speaking of Call of Duty, the UK's CMA claims that the Nintendo Switch isn't capable of running a modern Call of Duty title, contrary to the claims made by Microsoft. So, unless Nintendo comes out with a significantly more powerful console within the next two years, Microsoft's ten-year deal likely won't start until 2025, if not later.