The arguments and allegations between Sony and Microsoft that are emerging as part of the ongoing Activision Blizzard deal negotiations are starting to get more absurd; the latest claim from Sony is that Activision could deliberately release a buggy version of Call of Duty on PS5 and PS4 to dissuade players from using those consoles.
Activision could even patch bugs into Call of Duty on PS5 and PS4
Not only does Sony believe Activision Blizzard could release a version of their game that would be buggy solely on PS5 and/or PS4, they also suggest that bugs would be deliberately introduced into the game after its release. The latest allegation was submitted to the CMA as part of Sony’s argument about why the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard shouldn’t go ahead and was spotted by Tom Warren:
For example, Microsoft might release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty where bugs and errors emerge only on the game’s final level or after later updates. Even if such degradations could be swiftly detected, any remedy would likely come too late, by which time the gaming community would have lost confidence in PlayStation as a go-to venue to play Call of Duty. Indeed, as Modern Warfare II attests, Call of Duty is most often purchased in just the first few weeks of release. If it became known that the game’s performance on PlayStation was worse than on Xbox, Call of Duty gamers could decide to switch to Xbox, for fear of playing their favorite game at a second-class or less competitive venue.
Microsoft has previously insisted this would never be true and that they would not make Call of Duty players move to Xbox. A 10-year deal to keep CoD on PS5 and/or PS4 has been offered to Sony, but they further stated “Microsoft has not shown any real commitment to reaching a negotiated outcome.” The company has apparently “dragged their feet, engaged only when they sensed the regulatory outlook was darkening, and favored negotiating in the media over engaging with SIE.”
Despite these allegations, Microsoft has successfully negotiated deals with Nintendo and Nvidia to bring the franchise to their platforms in the future. Only time will tell what the future holds for Activision Blizzard games on PS5 and PS4.