Microsoft is continuing to try to prod the public sentiment around their acquisition of Activision Blizzard King.
Frank X. Shaw, who is a communications lead at Microsoft, quote tweeted a report about Sony’s Q3 earnings. This is what he said on Twitter:
“Sony, the main complainant to the Activision Blizzard deal, announced their financial results. This makes it clear why there needs to be more competition in a market they mainly control.”
Frank’s case is easy to understand and not easily refuted. When Sony reports or boasts about their positive financial results, it weakens the case that they would be adversely affected by competition from Microsoft.
This Q3 is particularly glowing for Sony as they have seen PlayStation 5 sales go up 82 % year on year. Not all their numbers are up, but the drop in PlayStation Plus subscribers and PlayStation software sales don’t reach beyond 10 %.
If you may recall, the main complaint that Sony has made to block the acquisition has been that Call of Duty players will move to Xbox from PlayStation, implying that Call of Duty makes a significant amount for their business. However, the figures in this report indicate that Sony can be incredibly successful in their video game business even if they don’t sell as many of the video games themselves year on year.
Once again, it should be noted that these front facing statements by Microsoft employees is more than bluster. This is the case that they are making to the FTC court in the case filed FTC’s Lina Khan to block the acquisition. In fact, it ties in with their plan to subpoena Sony themselves to testify for them in the case.
Sony has apparently been delaying their response to the subpoena as much as possible, and the reason for that was something we had covered in Gameranx some time ago. A third party, a lawyer that beat Microsoft in antitrust court proceedings years ago, argued that the FTC’s case vs Microsoft now is based on anecdote, and won’t hold up to scrutiny.
Even if the FTC keeps the court proceedings quiet, by being vocal about their arguments in this way, Microsoft is making sure that the public knows exactly what their side will be saying to the FTC courts. Of course, if you were curious what arguments Microsoft has been making, you can always visit the website that they launched for this very purpose, at your leisure.
It remains to be seen if this PR offensive will bear fruit for Microsoft in time, but for now, you can expect to see more of this in the near future.