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Microsoft claims UK's CMA has overcounted potential impact of Call of Duty exclusivity

Based on new YouGov survey.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Image credit: Activision

Microsoft has claimed the UK's Competition and Markets Authority has significantly overcounted the potential impact of Call of Duty going exclusive to Xbox and PC.

The CMA has been sceptical about Microsoft's $68.7bn bid to purchase Activision Blizzard, most recently stating it could harm UK gamers, resulting in "higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation". It believes players would abandon PlayStation for Xbox.

However, based on a YouGov survey commissioned by Microsoft back in January and shared with Axios, just three percent of all PlayStation users would switch to Xbox if Call of Duty became exclusive.

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The CMA ran its own research in December, conducted by DJS Research, but its estimation of all PlayStation owners who would leave for Xbox should the deal go through was redacted from the public version of its findings. It does claim, however, that "PlayStation is likely to lose a significant share", reports Axios.

That research also estimated 15 percent of avid Call of Duty PlayStation players would switch to Xbox. That's those playing at least 10 hours or spending at least $100 on the series in the last year.

By contrast, Microsoft's survey found that only 10.5 percent of Call of Duty players (those who ranked the franchise as one of their two favourites) would switch consoles.

"As we have said all along: it makes zero business sense to take Call of Duty off of PlayStation," Rima Alaily, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Competition Law Group, told Axios.

She added that YouGov's finding that three percent of PlayStation users would switch to Xbox was "too small to hurt Sony's ability to compete and too small to make a withholding strategy profitable for Xbox".

The deadline for the CMA's final ruling on the deal is April 26th, a day after the deadline for European regulators.

Last week Reuters claimed the deal was likely to be passed in the EU.

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