Sony has now included EA’s Battlefield franchise in its arguments against Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying the shooter can’t keep up with Call of Duty.
As reported by PC Gamer, Sony said in its response to the UK government’s investigation into the merger that Call of Duty has found unparalleled success that no other shooter can compete, even Battlefield.
“Call of Duty is not replicable,” it said. “Call of Duty is too entrenched for any rival, no matter how well equipped, to catch up. 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 continued. “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.
“Despite the similarities between Call of Duty and Battlefield – and despite EA’s track record in developing other successful AAA franchises (such as FIFA, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, and Star Wars: Battlefront) – the Battlefield franchise cannot keep up. As of August 2021, more than 400 million Call of Duty games has been sold, while Battlefield has sold just 88.7 million copies.”
EA’s most recent entry, Battlefield 2042, has had a particularly rocky first year on the market, with the publisher itself admitting that it didn’t meet expectations. Several updates and fixes were delayed and developer DICE was even forced to remake its maps after saying it understood the “walking simulator” complaints.
Battlefield 2042 Season 3 Screenshots
The franchise has always been released on both Xbox and PlayStation, but Sony is currently arguing that there’s nothing stopping Microsoft from making the franchise an Xbox exclusive despite its promises not to.
EA, on the other hand, sees the Microsoft deal as a huge opportunity. “Being platform-agnostic and completely cross-platform with Battlefield I think is a tremendous opportunity,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson at the time.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.