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‘Call of Duty’s stint on Battle.net was supposedly a “resounding failure”

For four years, PC players of Call of Duty had to purchase and play the game through Blizzard‘s Battle.net digital distribution platform. However, this arrangement ended in 2022 as it was a “resounding failure,” according to a recently published court document from Microsoft.

This emerged through the ongoing legal tussle between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission on the subject of its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The data apparently disclosed that the number of monthly active users of Activision Blizzard’s games worked out to be 35million at the end of 2018. Yet, by the end of 2021, the monthly active users had dipped to 22million, in spite of Call of Duty‘s enduring commercial success.

Via PC Gamer, Microsoft concluded that Steam was a much more profitable choice for Call of Duty and that the time on Blizzard’s own platform prevented the series from seeing the returns that the publisher was wanting. Ergo, Activision Blizzard stopped putting Call of Duty on Battle.net with the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ Credit: Activision Blizzard

“Activision’s attempt to take PC digital sales of Call of Duty exclusive to its Battle.net platform was a resounding failure,” it explained. “Before 2018, Activision sold digital versions of PC Call of Duty titles on Valve’s successful Steam platform. In 2018, Activision decided to take the game off of Steam and make it exclusively available on Battle.net – largely in an effort to attract users to, and grow, Activision’s own platform. Battle.net’s monthly active users (‘MAUs’) remained relatively flat during the period when it had exclusive access to digital sales of Call of Duty on PC, from 2018 through 2022.”

Additionally, this admission acts to argue in favour of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft as it is proof that restricting players’ access to Call of Duty is against its best interests.

In other gaming news, voice actors working on Genshin Impact have claimed that they are yet to be paid for their contributions to the role-playing game.

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