Sony says “Battlefield” is superior to “Call of Duty” – is that true?

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Sony makes a fair point, but let’s not paint ‘Battlefield’ as a plucky underdog

This Week In Games is a weekly column dedicated to the most important gaming stories. This week Andy Brown finds out if Sony is right, claiming that Battlefield “does not keep up with Call of Duty.”

Corporations usually tend to talk about how infinitely superior they are to their competitors, but in Sony’s struggle to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard, this was not the case at all. After it was announced, Microsoft acknowledged that many of the first PlayStation games are of “better quality” than Xbox games, while Sony painted the PS5 as dependent on Activision Blizzard games.

It’s been a long and tedious spat — and the U.S. government looks like it’s going to step in — but ultimately it comes down to Sony worrying that once Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard, Xbox will take its multibillion-dollar ball home and take some of the biggest game franchises. from PlayStation. To be more specific, Sony is concerned that Microsoft taking Call of Duty away from PlayStation will prove terrible for the console — although under the watchful eye of regulators, Microsoft promises it will never do that. Why are they? Call of Duty brings millions to PlayStation.

However, the most interesting part of the conversations this week was Sony’s statement that no one has the “resources or experience” to match Call of Duty. This includes EA — in comments made to the UK Competition and Markets Authority, Sony wrote off the publisher’s Battlefield series as unable to “keep up” with Call of Duty.

It sounds harsh, but Sony has its own opinion: as of last year, Call of Duty sold more than 400 million games, and Battlefield sales totaled 88.7 million. You should also consider the Call of Duty juggernaut status — this series is a cultural touchstone even for the most casual gamers, and its popularity ensures that everyone and their babysitters have at least heard of the series. Battlefield, which is still one of the largest gaming franchises, cannot claim the same.

How does the Call of Duty brand seem as irresistible as Sony claims, but how is the game? This is not so unambiguous. Battlefield has always offered a larger-scale and multi-level multiplayer mode, while Call of Duty tends to focus more on quick matches and small teams. Despite the fact that both series are first-person shooters, each series is designed for different tastes: in Call of Duty it is much easier to immerse yourself in a match and briefly disconnect, and the more complex Battlefield game modes mean that they are much more exciting. the satisfaction of winning.

It is also worth noting that EA is not a meek outsider, as Sony portrays it — the company expects to receive about 6.2 billion pounds ($7.6 billion) by March next year, and 88.7 million sales are still… a hell of a lot. sales. Even though last year’s Battlefield was a crushing disappointment, don’t let the novelty bias cloud your judgment—many Battlefield games stand shoulder to shoulder with Call of Duty without a problem, and let’s not forget that Call of Duty had a lot of its own stinkers.

Also, while EA has apparently been too busy calling its fans “milkshake brains” to respond to Sony’s insult, it’s clear that the company is ramping up the pace to make something more out of Battlefield. In September, the publisher celebrated Battlefield’s 20th anniversary by declaring its commitment to “unlocking [Battlefield’s] potential as one of the best first-person shooter series in the world.” attracted some of the world’s largest FPS developers to create a “connected Battlefield universe”.

Shortly after, EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke out about Microsoft’s acquisition, calling Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive a “huge opportunity” for Battlefield. In terms of quality, there’s no doubt that EA has the developer talent (and, just as importantly, the money) to create a shooter capable of filling the hypothetical void of Call of Duty. It is also clear that, despite what Sony thinks, EA sees an opportunity to compete with Activision Blizzard shooter.

Yes, the departure of Call of Duty from PlayStation will hit Sony hard. In addition, the acquisition of such a size absolutely reduces competition — which is worse for everyone, including gamers. However, when it comes to Sony’s thoughts on Battlefield, a skeptical eye might just see the company owning the world’s smallest violin.

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