Sony Claims That Battlefield 'Cannot Keep Up' With Call of Duty As it Lists Reasons Against Microsoft Activision Acquisition

Sony Claims That Battlefield 'Cannot Keep Up' With Call of Duty As it Lists Reasons Against Microsoft Activision Acquisition

Richard Walker

Mounting its arguments against Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Sony has given EA's Battlefield franchise a bloody nose, stating that it “cannot keep up” with Call of Duty. The statement comes off the back of Microsoft deeming Sony's first-party games as superior to its own, noting that PlayStation losing Call of Duty would have little to no impact on the company.

In Sony's own UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) document (via Eurogamer), it notes that Call of Duty “is not replicable” and that other titles fail to keep up with it in terms of sheer commercial success. "Call of Duty is too entrenched for any rival, no matter how well equipped, to catch up," the statement reads.

“It has been the top-selling game for almost every year in the last decade and, in the first-person shooter genre, it is overwhelmingly the top-selling game. Other publishers do not have the resources or expertise to match its success,” Sony's CMA document continues. “To give a concrete example, Electronic Arts - one of the largest third-party developers after Activision - has tried for many years to produce a rival to Call of Duty with its Battlefield series.”

Sony adds that “despite the similarities between Call of Duty and Battlefield... the Battlefield franchise cannot keep up.” With Battlefield 2042 failing to set the world alight, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II continuing the series' run of success, Sony's comments aren't entirely without merit. Although, Microsoft reasons that given the quality of Sony's slew of console exclusives, losing Call of Duty wouldn't have a major detrimental effect on PlayStation's viability and overall success.

Battlefield 2042 is currently playing host to Season 3: Escalation, with a raft of welcome improvements and new content.

  • I’m enjoying seeing Sony go full drama queen over this deal, it gives me some good laughs at the things they say publicly.

    I do wish that they would try to get around this issue by just working on their own arcade-y FPS game. Their output of third-person action games (as far as triple A exclusives) is getting kinda stale
  • Sony should just release a current gen MAG and Socom to have some shooters out there
  • Sony should resurrect Zipper Interactive and bring back SOCOM
  • I fell that most companies don't try and compete with Call Of Duty
  • Sony is acting like COD is actually good.. it hasn't been in over 10 years.
  • @5, ain't been good ever
  • Call of Duty sells tons of copies every year. I think trophy hunters hate on it much more than the average gamer does.

    Presumably there's a real financial incentive to keep this fight going. I'd bet there's data in how many consoles sold with and without the Activision/Sony marketing deal for CoD and it must be worth it.
  • How about another Resistance or (good) Killzone?
  • This argument is comedy gold. I own a PS5 and Series X, so couldn’t care less which gets CoD.. especially because CoD has been trash for years now..

    But Sony and Microsoft are just trying every tactic they can, Sony claiming that CoD is this all encompassing amazing game that PlayStation cannot survive without…

    Microsoft are swinging hard in the opposite direction, constantly shitting on their own hardware, games, and customers.
  • @Dangisckatgamin:
    It doesn't need to be good. It sells. Just like EA Sports' titles. They sell simply on the virtue of being a new franchise entry. COD is fantastic for some quick MP shooting. BF used to have more drawn out matches and CounterStrike never really went unto consoles.
  • I don't like Sony showing it's fanny whining about this deal, but I think their claim about BF's inferiority to COD is true.

    I got tired of COD and my last one was the first Black Ops (besides the MW remaster, which I bought because I wanted the platinum [the original release was before trophies!]). I transitioned to BField3 and got BField4 as a PS4 launch title, and though I had some good times, particularly with BField4, the MP felt like it was missing something in terms of the fun factor compared to COD.

    I think the issue is with DICE vs. the Bfield franchise. DICE makes pretty games visually, but a lot of their design choices are idiotic and their balance / community management decisions are worse. They ruined Star Wars: Battlefront. Battlefront 1 (especially) and 2 on PS2 by Pandemic were more enjoyable experiences.

    I didn't mean to go on a tangent and critique DICE, but the bottom line is that COD games are fun whereas BField games are not. COD games are repetitive and formulaic, but the algorithm works ... BField games try to reinvent the wheel and fail over and over again.
  • Sony... what a joke.
  • Some very strange comments here, why would anyone on a Playstation site want to have less access to the amount of game franchises?

    COD is probably the most successful game franchise on consoles, it's mainstream so if MS makes it exclusive (which it will with this deal) then all those mainstream gamers have 0 problems switching consoles next generation (or current with the right pricing). Means much less Playstation gamers Sony could capture with their exclusives, Plus etc.

    Yet somehow Sony is the bad guy for trying to avoid this...
  • @ Unger ... I don't think it is that people WANT Sony to have less access to franchises like COD and others. I think it is more that people want Sony to sack up, step up, and create system-selling franchises vs. depend on third party tentpole brands.

    The elephant in the room here is that Nintendo via the Switch handily outsold both PS4 and Xbox with nothing but an underpowered handheld hybrid + Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, and nostalgia.

    Sony could do this too, if they devoted the resources to it. It would likely cost less than what Microsoft is set to pay for these deals, plus the multimillions in legal fees they will spend fighting Lina Kahn and the FTC to defend them.

    So you're losing Elder Scrolls. Then do a deal either GRRM and/or HBO / Warner Bros. and obtain the ASOAIF license and create epic, Sony-exclusive RPGs in that sadly neglected universe. Shooters? Anybody remember the SOCOM Navy SEALS brand (I heard this is in development). There are infinite possibilities. Someone just has to have the vision and will to make it happen.

    People forget that COD overthrew a generation of shooters prior to it. If they build a superior product, it will win. It just hasn't happened yet.
  • @dreadnaught_, I see your point, but Sony has shown it can definitely create some solid exclusives, yet never at the scale of COD and being able to launch year on year from the same franchise. You make it sound like an easy thing to just put resources into it but has it ever happened that a 20 year successful franchise has been overthrown by a new IP?
  • @ Unger ... Recall that COD overthrew the Rare -> Free Radical shooter paradigm, which overthrew Id Software shooters in terms of mainstream popularity. The timeframes here are indeed shorter than the span of COD dominance, but this is on account of two factors: 1) technology changed much more rapidly between Wolfenstein -> COD (in other words, technology advanced two decades worth in mere years), and 2) no one save EA/DICE attempted to challenge COD's pole position since they captured it.

    As others have stated, COD is not that great a game. The best ones were the first MW and World at War, in my view, with Black Ops an honorable mention. It was downhill from there. They just shell out the same stuff in a slightly different format every year, just like Madden. And like Madden, the mainstream consumers eat it up because there are no competitors. It is like addictive fatty food.

    I have no doubt somebody can invent a better mousetrap (or more accurately, normie trap) if they tried. Nobody is trying though because of the risk of failure involved, so we have the current state of shooter stagnation.

    COD will fall at some point. Nothing lasts forever. If Sony is smart, they will innovate, which is what they are second best at (note: Sony is best at undermining their own successes), and dedicate the resources to make that happen.
  • Cod just got the formula right at the right time and now it's stuck. Just like McDonald's, and people just can't stop it.

    I know McDonald's is crap food, I know it's just mass processed shit that isn't beneficial to me... But I'd love a quarter pounder right now. That familiarity, that comfort of a reliable product.
    Although cod hasn't pioneered anything beyond bells and whistles from the quake arena era it is exactly as above. Battlefield isn't, personally I much prefer battlefield but I can also accept that it isn't a reliable experience, it doesn't spoon feed comfort like COD does.

    That being said, it wouldn't be a grand risk to at least try some competition eh?

    The best battlefield and cod games came from generations of healthy competition between games and consoles.
  • They aren't wrong bf is shit. And you all are wrong this years cod was good but two years from now? Probably not. They should bring back resistance killzone and mag. I feel like they should just sign the 6 or 10 year deal or whatever if they are really worried about it
  • Sony even mentioning CoD at this point as a reason to block is so far past stupid it's not funny anymore. Microsoft just offered a 10 year CoD deal and Sony rejected it (really? 10 year deal not good enough?) when is the last time you or anyone else you know signed a 10 year deal for anything? other than a house loan, it's unheard of and was a huge branch handed to Sony and they had a cry. Microsoft have said time and time and time again that CoD will stay on Playstation, so this block isn't about CoD as Sony knows it's staying multi platform. I think in the end Microsoft will play along and sign something that says CoD will remain on Playstation (which was always their intent) and the deal goes through, with widdle Jim Wyan crying in the corner :D
  • Depending on the terms of that 10 year deal Sony should take it. And in those 10 years go after a better shooter zombie and campaign game. You only need a new game every 2 to 3 years now anyways. Just updates every 3 months. Use the COD game plan and copy it. But give more to the players and make sure you have a great studio or 2 on it. Hell must people buy Sony cuss of the back catalog anyways just like Xbox said. And i probly wont buy a xbox just for COD so really no big deal. And so far xbox has not shown that they wont screw up COD in a few years anyways. Sounds like Sony is just trying to get something out of this deal for nothing. Not bad business at all.
  • Just resurrect Killzone, MAG, SOCOM, Resistance or another Sony FPS series. Or create one from the ground up. Granted it wouldn't have the COD name, which is what really sells.
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