With Sony pushing hard against the Microsoft deal to acquire Activision-Blizzard, the chief concern by Sony regarding the deal is the Call of Duty franchise. and how it might become exclusive to Xbox platforms once the deal pushes through.
If you’re wondering why Sony doesn’t just make their own Call of Duty game, or find a new game to push that captures the multiplayer first-person shooter crowd, it’s because the franchise is not “replicable” according to Sony. With the company’s (Sony) response to the CMA (Competitions and Market Authority) surfacing recently, one tidbit of info included there is just how much copies the Call of Duty has sold.
In the report, Sony touts that even a big publisher like EA who has loads of experience making AAA games, does not have the expertise or experience to replicate its success. Sony, citing Call of Duty’s closest competitor, EA’s Battlefield franchise, mentions that EA’s shooter”cannot keep up,” and even disclosed that Call of Duty now has sold over 440 million copies, while the Battlefield franchise is just at 88.7 million copies sold.
Call of Duty is not replicable. 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 (“FPS”) genre, it is overwhelmingly the top-selling game. Other publishers do not have the resources or expertise to match its success. To give a concrete example, Electronic Arts — one of the largest third-party developers developers after Activision — has tried for many years to produce a rival to Call of Duty with its Battlefield franchise. Despite the similarities between Call of Duty and Battlefield — and despite EA’s track record in developing other successful AAA franchise (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 had been sold, while Battlefield had sold just 88.7 million copies.
While Activision and EA do tout how much money their games make, the publishers almost always do not divulge official sales numbers. It looks like the disparity between the two are bigger than some could have anticipated (or maybe not).
Are you surprised at the numbers revealed by Sony? Do you think EA’s Battlefield franchise can somehow reach the heights of Call of Duty when it comes to sales? Sound off in the comments below.
In related news, Activision announced that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has already crossed the $1 billion mark in just 10 days.