If Microsoft is allowed to merge with Activision, then Xbox will become a "one stop shop" for shooter video games, Sony has told regulators.
Sony's latest response to the Microsoft-Activision merger has made some new arguments against the deal. Sony's core argument boldly claims the merger would threaten the games industry during a pivotal point, but more specific arguments include Microsoft acquiring a much larger share in the very lucrative shooter genre.
Sony has told the UK's Competition and Markets Authority that Microsoft would essentially hold too many popular FPS franchises following the Activision merger, including Call of Duty, which dominates the premium console shooter space with over $31 billion in revenues generated to date. Other franchises would include Overwatch, which certifiably became a billion-dollar series in 2017, joining other wholly-owned Xbox megahits like Halo.
"Post-transaction, Xbox would become the one stop shop for all the best-selling shooter franchises on console (Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, Overwatch)...and it would then be free from serious competitive pressure," Sony says in the filing.
Notable shooter franchises that Xbox would own if it merges with Activision:
- Call of Duty
- Gears of War
- Perfect Dark
This could be a compelling point for regulators to consider, however it's worth noting that there are multiple competitors in the shooter space that have also made billions in revenue, including CS:GO, PUBG, Apex Legends, and the free-to-play titan Fortnite.
"Call of Duty has become synonymous with the FPS category and is the benchmark against which all other FPS games are measured," Sony further tells regulators.