It's an open secret that Call of Duty is a juggernaut in the video game industry - the rest are just trying to keep up, if only barely. But, it still feels rude to point it out. Even so, this didn't stop Sony from all but saying that Battlefield isn't as good as Call of Duty.
In its latest argument against the approval of Microsoft's attempt to acquire, Sony's lawyers submitted a 20-page document to the UK government where it effectively put Electronic Arts and Battlefield under the bus.
Specifically, here's what the document said about EA and Battlefield:
Other publishers do not have the resources or expertise to match its success. To give a concrete example, Electronic Arts - one of the largest thirdparty developers after Activision - has tried for many 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 in developing other successful AAA franchises (such as FIFA, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, and Star Wars: Battlefront) - the Battlefield franchise cannot keep up.
Sony then pulled up the numbers necessary to back up its argument. Whereas the Battlefield franchise has sold 88.7 million copies as of August 2021, Call of Duty has enjoyed sales north of 400 million.
When you consider Modern Warfare 2 set a new record for the entertainment industry this year - GTA V is one of the few products to beat its launch numbers - the gargantuan lead that Call of Duty has over Battlefield only proves that Sony has a point. Then again, we kind of feel for EA after Sony threw it under the bus like that.
Does this mean that we should say goodbye to hopes that Sony will buy EA if Microsoft is the new owner of Activision Blizzard by next year? We'll have to wait to find out.
Having said that, we're still surprised that Sony is saying this kind of stuff out loud. It all feels like a desperate attempt to tilt the odds in its favor. By doing so, Sony isn't endearing itself to the most important people in the world - its audience. Sony's hands aren't clean when it comes to exclusives, as it holds the rights to some of the most profitable gaming franchises in history.
As the back and forth between Microsoft and Sony continues, we can expect to learn more about the inner workings of the gaming industry.
In the meantime, feel free to dig deep into the document and assume Sony isn't planning to release the PlayStation 6 until at least 2028. Elsewhere, Sony referred to Microsoft's earlier effort to keep Call of Duty on the PlayStation until 2027, saying "By the time SIE launched the next generation of its console (which is likely to occur around [REDACTED]), it would have lost access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles." But, of course, Microsoft Gaming CEO, Phil Spencer, has since clarified that he's open to a longer commitment.