Microsoft has reaffirmed its commitment to "ten years of parity" with Sony after the UK government provisionally ruled that its acquisition of Activision Blizzard would result in "less competition" for consumers.
In response to provisional findings published by the Competition and Markets Authority that claimed the acquisition could "result in higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation for UK gamers," Microsoft published a statement in response. That statement, from Microsoft's corporate vice president, Rima Alaily, said that the company is "committed to offering effective and easily enforceable solutions that address the CMA's concerns."
Most importantly, that includes "100% equal access to Call of Duty to Sony, Nintendo, Steam, and others," preserving "the deal's benefits to gamers and developers," and actually increasing competition in the market.
That '100%' was further clarified, with Alaily saying that equal access means "ten years of parity. On content. On pricing. On features. On quality. On playability." That would mean no discernible difference between the Xbox version of Call of Duty and its equivalent on other platforms - a direct departure from the PlayStation-first modes that we've seen in recent years, often exclusive to a game until its successor comes out the following year.
The battle between Microsoft and Sony over the former's purchase of Activision Blizzard has rumbled on since the deal was first announced last year. At times, it's been an ugly fight, with Sony in particular burning bridges to try and hold up the process. It's thought that the deal is likely to be delayed beyond its originally-planned deadline of this June, but it's also looking increasingly likely that Microsoft will be forced to make some form of change to its approach in order to complete its purchase.
Previously, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he was "very, very confident" about the deal between the two companies closing without any major concessions or hinderances.