Microsoft has claimed that Sony is paying developers for keeping their games off Xbox Game Pass. The company claimed this in a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), which will justify its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. It claims that Sony is actively trying to hinder the growth of Game Pass by stopping content from appearing on the service via ‘blocking rights’. Sony along with companies like Ubisoft and Riot Game submitted their opinion to CADE on the Activision-Blizzard acquisition.
In the documents, originally in Portuguese, it is claimed: ”Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been obstructed by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth. Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services”. This seems to be a response to Sony’s statement to CADE that the Activision-Blizzard acquisition would be anti-competitive.
Microsoft also claimed that Sony is incoherently concerned with the possibility of Activision games being Microsoft exclusive content as well. It also claims that Sony does not want attractive business models to threaten its dominance in the gaming market.
Microsoft-Sony: In Conflict Once Again?
Microsoft and Sony have been heated rivals in the console market ever since the first Xbox launched at the start of the century. With Sony having the upper hand going into the 9th generation of consoles, Microsoft adopted a different strategy in gaining an advantage over them. The introduction of the Game Pass subscription service in 2017 has been a massive hit with gamers. Seeing its success, Microsoft was looking to build upon it by acquiring major companies that will help them in creating more exclusives that would benefit them in the 9th generation. It would also help them in bringing these exclusives to Game Pass as well. This resulted in the acquisition of major game studios, mainly Bethesda in 2018 and most recently, Activision Blizzard.
On the other hand, Sony is certainly a leader in the gaming industry with its top-of-the-class exclusive titles. This includes titles like God Of War, Uncharted, The Last Of Us, and Gran Turismo. But seeing Microsoft’s acquisition of major studios, Sony also made serious moves. This includes its acquisition of Bungie back in January which was officialized in July. In addition to that, Sony even released their own Playstation Plus subscription service to rival Game Pass.
Call Of Duty has been one of the primary third-party titles on Playstation in the past years. Seeing it could be a Microsoft exclusive is concerning to Sony. This would deeply affect Sony if future titles appear on Xbox Game Pass for a small subscription fee. After all, it is more beneficial to pay $9.99 a month for Game Pass to play Call of Duty than to pay $60 to own the games on Playstation. That’s why it seems that Sony is trying to make sure other games do not make it onto Game Pass. If they appear, it could hinder Sony’s profits very much.
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