Xbox Claims Sony is Paying Developers 'Game Pass Block Fees'
Get ready for a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo.
Detailed in documents sent to Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense to justify its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft claimed Sony actively inhibits the growth of Xbox Game Pass by preventing content from appearing on it. Such comments are part of Microsoft's response to Sony insinuating that Xbox acquiring the Call of Duty franchise would be anti-competitive. Microsoft further claimed, "Considering that exclusivity strategies have been at the core of Sony’s strategy to strengthen its presence in the games industry, and that Sony is a leader in the distribution of digital games, Sony’s concern with possible exclusivity of Activision‘s content is incoherent, to say the least."
The Console Wars Get Ugly
These kinds of platform deals have become commonplace in the gaming industry. A reference was even made to PlayStation blocking third-party games appearing on Game Pass in documents revealed during last years Epic vs. Apple lawsuit.
Sony has claimed that the acquisition could influence users to jump ship to Xbox because Call of Duty is an "essential" franchise. However, Microsoft's head of gaming, Phil Spencer, confirmed back in January the company plans on keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation should the deal go through.
It's worth pointing out that Activision is contractually obligated to release the next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles, including this year's Modern Warfare 2. After that, it's anyone's guess what could transpire.
The documents go on to read, "It only reveals, once again, a fear about an innovative business model that offers high-quality content at low costs to gamers, threatening a leadership that has been forged from a device-centric and exclusivity-focused strategy over the years."
Elsewhere in the document, Microsoft claimed Sony "does not want attractive subscription services to threaten its dominance in the digital distribution market for console games."
Ever since it was announced Microsoft wanted to acquire Activision Blizzard, insiders have known it would get ugly. That's certainly the case right now.
Xbox Is Dumping Its Game Pass Streaming Box
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