The chief executive of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, appeared before a federal judge on Wednesday to urge her to allow Microsoft to buy her company for $69 billion (almost 5.66.3 billion rupees).
Kotick said that any effort to make Call of Duty platform-exclusive, as critics of Microsoft have said, would drive away about 100 million people who play the game every month.
“You’d have a riot if you removed the game from one platform,” Kotick said.
He said removing Call of Duty from PlayStation, which is made by Sony Group, would be “very damaging” to Activision’s business.
The Federal Trade Commission has asked a judge to temporarily halt the Microsoft acquisition to allow the agency’s internal judge to decide the case. In the past, the losing party in federal court often conceded and the internal process was thrown out.
Much of the testimony in the trial has focused on Activision’s Call of Duty, one of the best-selling video games of all time. It is available today on smartphones, multiple consoles, and desktop computers.
Kotick said that he had considered making Call of Duty available on the Nintendo Switch, but decided against it because he felt the console would not be a big seller. “I made a bad judgment,” he said.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is scheduled to testify Wednesday afternoon before Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in federal court.
The FTC, which enforces antitrust law, has taken a tougher line on mergers during the Biden administration. The agency says the transaction would give Microsoft, which makes the Xbox console, exclusive access to Activision’s games, leaving Nintendo and Sony Group out.
To address antitrust concerns, Microsoft has offered to license Call of Duty to rivals. He has also argued that he is better off licensing the games to all comers.
The deal won the approval of many jurisdictions, but was opposed by the FTC in the United States and the Competition and Markets Authority in Britain.
© Thomson Reuters 2023