Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its intention to buy Activision Blizzard, but regulators have made it difficult to discern whether the deal will be allowed to go through. The UK Competition and Markets Authority is currently entering the second phase of its investigation and has now released statements from Microsoft and Sony regarding the proposed purchase. Sony is strongly opposed to the deal, having argued that Microsoft will remove the Call of Duty franchise from PlayStation and make it exclusive to Xbox. However, in recently released statements, Sony has also alleged that Microsoft could also take the opportunity to increase the prices of Xbox consoles.
“Microsoft could: increase console and game prices for Xbox users (including those who switched from PlayStation), increase the price of Game Pass, and reduce innovation and quality.”
Of course, like windows center notes, the accusation is a bit ridiculous given the fact that PlayStation recently increased the price of the PlayStation 5 in most markets outside of the US, and the company also increased the price of most first-party games to $70. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S just saw a price drop for Black Friday, making it $50 cheaper than normal. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has hinted that PlayStation-like price hikes could happen in the future, but it’s likely due to factors like global inflation or chip shortages.
The CMA won’t make any decisions on Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard until March 23, 2023. There are many concerns about the deal, though some are more legitimate than others. Regulators are tasked with making sure any such purchase doesn’t give Microsoft too much power in the video game industry. Microsoft has maintained that it would keep Call of Duty on PlayStation and possibly bring the series to Nintendo Switch as well. Whether that argument will win over regulators, however, remains to be seen.
Do you think Sony’s claim has merit? Will Microsoft raise the price of Xbox consoles if it buys Activision Blizzard? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk about everything related to games!