To no one's surprise, Sony isn't happy that Microsoft is now basically one step closer to owning Call of Duty.
Sony is arguing that "the CMA's reversal of its position on its consoles theory of harm is surprising, unprecedented, and irrational."
The gist of Sony's position at the moment is that even if Microsoft has made it clear that it doesn't make financial sense for them to make Call of Duty exclusive, the mere possibility of this happening is a threat. As expected, Sony already using its competition's previous post-acquisition decisions.
Sony previously used the same logic to justify its position against the biggest acquisition in video game history. But, now, it has precedence and proof after Arkane Studios confirmed that Microsoft had a PS5 version of the upcoming co-op shooter, Redfall, canceled following its acquisition of ZeniMax Media. Although Microsoft denies the statement, the words come straight from the game's creative director, who definitely doesn't have the incentive to make up stories and lie.
Sony's response to CMA's analysis is basically nitpicking at this point, calling out the competition regulatory for "conceptual errors" and how its revised evaluation downplays the impact of adding Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard titles to Game Pass, which Microsoft has since promised would happen, as well as the negative effect of releasing a bad version of Call of Duty on the PlayStation platform.
In an attempt to adhere to the Call of Duty community, Sony praised fans of the premiere first-person-shooter franchise as "passionate, knowledgeable, and sophisticated."
Of course, anyone who's jumped into a Call of Duty lobby these days knows that this is far from the truth.
Ultimately, Sony's response isn't surprising if not expected. Sony has vocally opposed the deal for over a year as it believes that it will give Microsoft unprecedented power over the entire gaming industry.
But, while Sony is still hung up on Call of Duty and Activision Blizzard's games, the UK regulator is already focused on cloud gaming. So, Microsoft isn't over the finish line yet. We still have to wait until April 26 to get the final word on what the CMA thinks of Microsoft owning Activision Blizzard. But, at this point, it's close to impossible to make the CMA reverse from its latest stance.
Speaking of Sony, the Japanese console manufacturer is reportedly working on a new handheld gaming console.