The FTC cites Call of Duty as one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time

It may seem absurd that US regulators are intervening on this, but it’s actually relevant to their investigation into Microsoft’s purchase of Activision.

The FTC praises the Call of Duty franchise, calling it one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time.

Of course, the FTC hasn’t made such a statement because its staff is full of gamers. This is, surprisingly, relevant in the case of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, affecting the question of whether the franchise is so important to the industry that it can’t fall into the hands of just one person. platform company.

Here is what the FTC said in its administrative complaint:

“Even among AAA games, Activision’s best-known franchise, Call of Duty, is particularly strong. First released nearly twenty years ago in 2003, Call of Duty is, in Activision’s own words Activision, “one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time” In 2021, Call of Duty: Vanguard topped the revenue chart as the top-selling game in the United States, along with Call of Duty : Black Ops Cold War in second position. And in 2022, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II made $1 billion worldwide in the first ten days after its launch. In comparison, the highest-grossing film in the year to date, Top Gun: Maverick, took a month to reach the billion dollar mark.

Of course, these statements do not exist in a vacuum either. It was literally only last week that we reported that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 achieved $1 billion in sales, in just its first ten days of release, the same fact the FTC cites. Subsequently, the free to play Warzone 2 call of duty amassed 25 million players in less than a week.

Call of Duty is not only a historically significant franchise in the world of video games and entertainment; it is important today, breaking records at present.

As the FTC had argued in its filings, this franchise is an argument against the acquisition being allowed to proceed. It’s simply too big a franchise to be given to a single platform holder.

Now, Microsoft could always ditch the acquisition game, allowing Call of Duty to spinoffs with the combination of developers who would like to continue working on it. But they also want this franchise, if they are to be believed, primarily for mobile games.

Microsoft attempted to argue that Call of Duty does not have “significant market power” to affect the industry between acquisitions. In fact, there isn’t a single video game franchise that’s that big. Activision Blizzard King, as gigantic as it is, only holds 10% of the video game market. That’s a big chunk of money and market share, but not enough to destroy the video game industry if it were locked up, or alternatively, disappeared from the industry.

And we can also check it ourselves. Call of Duty itself became a video game franchise, as it followed a trend started by a different video game franchise, owned by a completely different company. Medal of Honor, a realistic military shooter franchise that puts you in the shoes of American soldiers, has inspired veterans to play video games. It had released 12 games in 13 years, including spinoffs, but its inactivity for nearly a decade after that didn’t really hurt the industry as a whole. And that’s because Call of Duty came to surpass it, gain a larger following and ultimately replace it.

And if it ever becomes necessary, Battlefieldor maybe even a new military franchise would eventually take Call of Duty’s place. And arguably, that might not even be necessary, as the big shooter money has already shifted from military-themed shooters to live-service games, many of which are free-to-play, like Overwatch 2, Destiny 2, and Fortnite.

That said, we cannot deny the success and popularity of Call of Duty now. It’s definitely one of the most valuable gems in Activision Blizzard King’s war chest.

Source: FTC

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