The battle over the Xbox makers' acquisition of Activision Blizzard continued on Thursday, with both companies making clear statements about Microsoft's intention to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.
The public back-and-forth began just as suggestions that the European Union may increase its scrutiny of Microsoft's agreement. Earlier, U.K. regulators stated that they would investigate the transaction closely, concerned that it might stifle competition unfairly. According to a Financial Times story, the EU is also attempting a larger, more formal investigation.
Sony praised the EU's position in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz on Thursday. This move would have significant negative impacts on gamers and the gaming industry, according to the company. We want to ensure that PlayStation gamers continue to have the finest gaming experience, and we appreciate the [UK Competition and Markets Authority]'s effort to protect gamers.
Microsoft reacted vehemently, saying, "It makes no business sense" for Microsoft to reintroduce Call of Duty from PlayStation, given its leading console position in the market."
The comparison to Call of Duty as the leading console company is somewhat new. It appears that Microsoft's messaging strategy is to present itself as the smaller market player, making its acquisition of Activision a threat to Sony or wider competition.
Despite all of this effort, the transaction remains in jeopardy until EU, UK, and United States experts have had the chance to examine the two companies and the marketplace and either approve the purchase or create a set of concessions for Microsoft to accept.
With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0, the franchises' Call of Duty Next streaming event started on Thursday, and are scheduled to be released later this year.