Though Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard from earlier this year is still making its way through regulators, Sony is already fearing the worst when it comes to the future of Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles.
Microsoft has noted in the past that the series will continue to be multi-platform – at least, for the time being. However, a thread in Resetera recently spotted a Sony Brazil poll, in which it asking what they thought about the big “M” purchasing the company and its numerous assets. Sony apparently believes that Call of Duty is “an essential game: a blockbuster, a AAA- type game that has no rival,” according to the poll. In addition, it’s a release that could easily “influence users’ console choice,” and that there’s no way a reliable competitor could be made in its place, since it’s so “entrenched” with PlayStation love.
“Each annual Call of Duty release takes approximately three to five years to develop,” the company noted in the poll. “As Activision releases one Call of Duty game per year, this equates to an annual investment of hundreds of millions of dollars. Approximately 1,200 people work on each version and another 1,500 are involved in publishing and distribution. Thus, Call of Duty alone has more developers than most game companies employ across its entire development portfolio, even AAA studios.
“No other developer can devote the same level of resources and expertise in game development. Even if they could, Call of Duty is overly entrenched, so that no rival – no matter how relevant – can catch up.” It continued that the series defines the first-person shooter category, and provided comparisons to Battlefield to illustrate that there’s no contest between the brands. “Players would be unlikely to switch to alternative games, as they would lose that familiarity, those skills, and even the friends they made playing the game,” the company continued. “Even in weaker years like 2021, Call of Duty still managed to outperform most other games by a considerable margin. Call of Duty: Vanguard, for example, was widely regarded as weaker than previous years’ titles, but was still one of the best-selling games of 2021. In other words, even in a bad year, players remain loyal to the brand and continue to buy the game.”
Microsoft hasn’t made clear its plans for the series after Modern Warfare 2, which will drop in November for multiple consoles and PC. There’s been word that it will take a hiatus and release new games bi-annually, in an effort to improve their quality. But where the series goes in the future after Sony’s current contract runs out is anyone’s guess. One thing is sure, though – Sony seems worried.
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