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Poorly redacted court documents reveal how much Call of Duty is worth to PlayStation

Sony has been playing the Call of Duty exclusivity card from the beginning of Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and now we know why.

The FTC vs Microsoft trial intended to block the latter's planned acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, has produced another nugget of privileged information. Today's find comes from a document provided by Sony that reveals just how important Call of Duty is to the PlayStation business, among many other secrets.

The filings were supposed to be redacted, but were seemingly scanned into a computer after certain sections were blacked out (to prevent anyone from accessing this insider data). Unfortunately, scanning the documents diminished the effects of the black marker, making them partially, or mostly, legible.

Documents were uploaded as part of the public domain, before Sony requested they be removed so they can be properly redacted. But everyone keeping an eye on the trial already downloaded everything, so it's of little use.

According to The Verge, the documents revealed that over [14?] million users spent 30% of their time on PlayStation playing Call of Duty in 2021. Over 6 million spent an even bigger 70% of their time on Call of Duty in the same year. But the real eye-opening statistic is that around 1 million PlayStation users played nothing but Call of Duty (in 2021) - spending 100% of their time on the shooter.

Regular Call of Duty players, according to the same document, reportedly spent over 70% of their time playing Call of Duty, an average of 296 hours on the franchise alone. The money end of all that time spent is even more illuminating.

According to the filings, Call of Duty was worth more than $800 for PlayStation in 2021, just in the United States. When factoring in the global audience, that figure jumps to [$1.5] billion. Separately from the game's themselves, Call of Duty player spending on accessories, hardware, subscriptions, games and "PlayStation services" amounted to a staggering [$15.9?] billion.

Finally, we now know that this year's premium Call of Duty release will be the last under the current contract between Activision Blizzard and Sony, per the document. While that obviously does not mean it will be the last Call of Duty release on PlayStation, Sony certainly positions it as the last "confirmed" game. Microsoft has, of course, repeatedly told regulators that it will not make the franchise exclusive to Xbox, and pledged to sign a ten-year deal with Sony - and has already done so with Nintendo.

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