Could 'Call Of Duty' Be Removed From The Playstation Catalog? Recent News Put The Partnership Between Microsoft And Sony In Check

By Enrique D. Fernandez

"Call of Duty" has added a new brand to its line. The recently released "Modern Warfare II," the nineteenth installment in the Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI saga, became the game that generated the most revenue in the first month since its release.

The military simulator, which in turn is a reboot of the "Modern Warfare" installment, exceeded $800 million in sales in the three days after its launch on October 28. These figures include pre-sales and also exceed the $775 million that "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" raised during the first five days of its launch back in 2011.

This not only continues to make the saga one of the most important in the video game business but also places the industry above the great movie behemoths.

The Washington Post, for example, reported that "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II" outnumbered "Avengers: Endgame," the Walt Disney Co DIS / Marvel blockbuster that grossed $357 million in its opening weekend.

The Business Of War

According to specialists, these numbers should not surprise anyone, since the "Call of Duty" saga has been a consistent success over the last decade. We are talking about the FPS that became Activision's flagship brand, and that millions of users choose as the most important first-person shooter in the genre.

The massiveness gave the game developed by Infinity Ward a prestigious place in popular culture, even considering that there are those who understand it as a generator of violence.

In 2019, when the mobile version was launched, it was downloaded by more than 650 million users around the world. And last year, two years after the premiere, Activision confirmed that the title still had 150 million active players around the planet - roughly a third of the size of Twitter's user base.

A Millionaire Battle

Despite these impressive numbers, there is talk of an uncertain future in terms of the profits that the company could continue to accumulate. This is especially true considering the recent accusations of discrimination and sexual harassment brought by the state of California against Activision Blizzard, the studio that develops "Call of Duty."

Added to this was the low number of sales that "Call of Duty: Vanguard" obtained last year. These events caused the share price to go from more than $103 in February 2021, to under $57 in December of that same year.

This scenario ended with Microsoft MSFT signing a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.

From this news, there was talk of exclusivity for PC and Xbox, which would undoubtedly generate important changes in the market. Considering that "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II" swept sales, many wonder how it will impact Sony SONY's finances, which could be left without one of the most successful sagas outside of PlayStation.

Based on Activision Blizzard earnings, Sony is the third largest platform and accounts for 15% of publisher revenue, said Joost van Dreunen, a specialist in the business of video games at New York University's Stern School. Beyond revenue, a major franchise like "Call of Duty" serves as a consumer acquisition tool, van Dreunen concluded.

However, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer publicly announced that Microsoft has no intention of removing Call of Duty from the PlayStation catalog.

But there's also no legal mechanism to prevent Microsoft from changing its mind, according to Mitch Stoltz, senior attorney for the nonprofit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation. So, also according to Stoltz, Sony's stance is a "valid concern."

Ultimately, we will have to wait to know what is Microsoft's decision regarding one of the most important financial strategies in the video game market in many years.

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II" is currently available on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and on PC via the Activision Blizzard store and Steam.

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