Microsoft is doing its best to acquire Activision Blizzard but Sony seems to be crying wolf, trying to stop the acquisition and calling it anti-competitive behavior. Meanwhile, Xbox claims that Sony is paying off developers to keep their games off of Game Pass! Now those are some wild accusations being thrown around. Let’s get to it in today’s news.
Microsoft is nearing the final stages of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. But there are a few complications involved in the whole process as the company is obligated to persuade the world’s governments that Xbox taking control of Diablo, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush is not, indeed, an act of antitrust behavior. Microsoft has done pretty well to provide solid proof and evidence to the relevant governing bodies. And the documents themselves seem to be rather intriguing for that matter.
Sony Paying Developers to Stay Off Xbox Game Pass?
So, the latest example of Microsoft making well-versed and argumentative commentary on the current state of the gaming industry comes from its statements submitted to the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense, also known as CADE. In trying to justify Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the document proceeded to make an alarming statement, that took many by shock. It appears Microsoft claims that Sony is actively participating in blocking titles from being launched on Game Pass by bribing or paying off developers.
Game Pass has been pretty successful as a whole ever since its inception. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass provides a lot of bang for the buck to many gamers, offering many exclusive and AAA titles for just a small monthly fee.
It’s garnered the attention of not only Xbox gamers but Game Pass offers its services to PC users as well. This takeover certainly has been affecting Sony’s reach to new customers as more and more users shift over to Xbox and PC for gaming.
Microsoft’s letter to CADE doesn’t beat about the bush and gets straight to the point. The letter states that Sony pays for blocking rights and prevents developers from adding content to Game Pass. Xbox claims Sony is trying to sabotage its Game Pass and as for hard evidence, there’s none at the time of this post.
Portions of the letter have been redacted to maintain probable confidentiality, but the long and short of the argument states that Sony might be paying specific game developers to keep their games off of Xbox’s lucrative subscription service.
It’s not a mystery as to why Sony might do such a thing as many consider Sony’s PS Plus service to be quite inferior to Game Pass in terms of its benefits and overall offerings. Therefore, Microsoft is suggesting that Sony is trying its best to stifle the growth of Xbox as a platform by bribing developers to keep them away from it.
Sony Claims Xbox is Taking Away Call of Duty!
It’s been presumed that the CADE letter was sent out along with Microsoft’s report to the Commerce Commission of New Zealand where it was stated that Activision Blizzard Games aren’t must-have titles.
This was spurred by claims made by Sony that the Call of Duty Franchise, particularly, is a one-of-a-kind blockbuster franchise that shouldn’t be owned by a first-party console manufacturer in the first place.
Considering, Sony and both Xbox have had access to the franchise equally. If Xbox acquires Activision Blizzard, it might mean that Microsoft might make Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive and leave Sony out of the beloved franchise.
But, at the same time, Microsoft explained that it would make no sense for them to limit Call of Duty to just one console and one platform. Logically, that would deprive Microsoft of the potential profit they’d make off of Call of Duty on the Sony PlayStation Platform. Xbox promised that it wouldn’t be leaving PlayStation fans hanging out dry.
Still, the promise is a promise of words and there hasn’t been an official legal agreement between Xbox and Sony where terms have been settled that Microsoft will keep its promise.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg as this is a fraction of the ongoing tug of war between Sony and Microsoft. It’s been a while since Microsoft pushed back against acquisition concerns voiced by Sony and with a concerted effort at that. The software company is doing its best to appear non-threatening and benign as possible within the gaming industry.
Sony is trying to play the victim card while painting a picture that Microsoft is making anti-competitive moves to crush Sony’s PlayStation by depriving it of titles. But, Microsoft claims that Sony is doing exactly that behind their backs. It’s still pretty unclear as to who the legislators may lean towards in this hot potato of a situation.
It’s not hard to understand where Sony is coming from. Microsoft’s Xbox is now in control of two classic PlayStation IPs along with numerous others due to the billions of dollars of acquisitions they’ve made in the past year. These franchises and titles have been fairly well established across a plethora of gaming consoles.
Sony fears that Xbox might pull the plug on supporting PlayStation as a long drawn-out strategy. So, what do you think about this whole scenario? Is Sony playing the victim card while stabbing Microsoft in the back or are the allegations made by Sony worth considering?
Either way, Sony seems to be in the wrong here and we wouldn’t expect Xbox to pull the plug on supporting Sony. And that’s pretty much it for today’s news. Stay tuned for more on Appuals. Till then, see you later and goodbye!