Sony reveals massive cost to develop Call of Duty games as they fight Microsoft’s Activision takeover

Modern Warafre 2 Ghost artwork

As Sony continues its battle to oppose Microsoft’s major takeover of Activision Blizzard, the publisher has revealed the huge budget that each Call of Duty game receives.

Microsoft’s takeover of Activision is one of the biggest deals that the gaming industry has ever seen. The Xbox owner is looking to add some of the most popular titles on the market to its portfolio, such as Overwatch and, of course, Call of Duty.

It’s no surprise that Sony has opposed the acquisition, despite Microsoft reassuring that CoD would still appear on PlayStation, the company is concerned about what it will mean for the franchise on its platforms.

The CMA have now released Sony’s response to the takeover, where the publisher was able to detail all of the reasons that the deal should potentially be halted.

One of the key points in the documents was that Call of Duty is “unique among AAA games because of its popularity, loyalty, and the enormous resources Activision commits to developing the franchise.”

Sony claimed that a CoD title warrants a budget of over $300 million, and has a development time of around “three to five years.”

For context, GTA 5 reportedly had a budget of around $265 million before its original launch in 2013. When you consider that Call of Duty titles are released on a yearly cycle, as opposed to the large gaps between entries in most other major series, this is a staggering budget.

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Sony argued that these incredible resources are one of the reasons that Activision Blizzard should remain independent from its competitor, as Call of Duty is a bigger property than almost any other name in gaming.

It also mentioned that it ranked in the top 10 when it comes to the number of monthly active users (MUAs) in 2020 and 2021, likely due to the popularity of the yearly multiplayer titles and Warzone.

These figures show once again just how big Call of Duty is a franchise, and why Sony doesn’t want to see it come into Microsoft’s possession. This year’s Modern Warfare 2 is also the fastest-selling CoD of all-time, so the series’ stock is only going to rise.

Microsoft’s intention to take over Activision Blizzard first became public early in 2022, but it seems there is still some way to go before the deal gets the green light. Fans will be keeping a close eye on the deal to see what it means for Call of Duty on PlayStation.

Image credits: Activision