Authorities Intervene Over Microsoft Call of Duty Deal
The Call of Duty franchise is quickly becoming its own enemy, as it tries to wrangle free from a developer riddled with its own controversies.
Caught in the flared gnashers of Activision, Call of Duty is being presented to the crowd as a prized catch, yet with Microsoft having paid a hefty price to feast on its lucrative rewards and continue its empire, it's becoming more of a snag than first anticipated.
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision is set to come into play in 2024, but numerous legal problems have arisen, threatening the merger. The main issue is what's happening with the Call of Duty franchise.
Can Call Of Duty Become An Xbox Exclusive?
From a business standpoint, it's clear that Microsoft focused on Activision, with the primary goal of owning Call of Duty (among other titles), given that it's the most profitable game in the world. However, amid the console wars between Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation, authorities have pushed back on any notions of Call of Duty ever becoming Xbox exclusive.
Just a week after the UK Government launched a Stage-2 investigation into the merger - following comments that Xbox only offered PlayStation an 'inadequate' three years of Call of Duty - even more political bodies are intervening.
What's Next For The Call Of Duty Deal?
Now, Europe's bodies are also looking to get involved, as Microsoft has reportedly failed to completely comply with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority investigations.
The antitrust investigation is reported to be expanding into Europe, with an independent panel looking to scrutinise the deal and stop Xbox from making their newly-acquired titles platform exclusive, specifically noting Call of Duty. According to the Financial Times, a source in Brussels, home of the European Parliament, has claimed that "an extensive investigation" is needed.
The CMA cited Call of Duty as the main reason for their investigations, claiming that it would break competitor laws if Xbox was to make the franchise exclusive to their platform. The next few months will be crucial, and as much as Sony Ponies would like to block the deal, we're pretty sure this one will sail through.