Update (11/28/2022) – GS
In recent days, the analysis of the merger between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft has brought us revealing information about the backstage of the video game industry, thanks to the responses provided by the Redmond giant and the new accusations made by Sony.
In early October, Microsoft accused Sony of blocking Game Pass on PlayStation consoles, which hurts consumers. The accusation was made as a support from Microsoft to try to get the approval of the deal by the European Commission.
In its response document, Sony reveals that this claim by Microsoft is ridiculous, given that it also prohibits the inclusion of PlayStation Plus on Xbox consoles.
Microsoft argues that the demand for multi-game subscription services would not favor Game Pass because Microsoft would also make Game Pass available on the PlayStation. But wider availability from the leading provider (Game Pass), now endowed with unique irreplaceable content and protected by direct and indirect network effects, would make it harder – not easier – for rival multi-game subscription services to compete. Microsoft’s position that the availability of Game Pass on PlayStation would remedy the damages of this transaction sounds particularly hollow given that Microsoft does not allow PlayStation Plus to be available on Xbox.
In its defense, Microsoft again points out that Sony blocked the inclusion of Game Pass on PlayStation and that there is no basis to prove that the acquisition of Call of Duty could result in an increase in subscription services in place of consoles.
The company reinforces that even if the games are placed on Game Pass, they will still be available for purchase in stores, allowing PlayStation players to still be able to acquire them, which is much cheaper than acquiring a new console.
The big problem is that this response from Microsoft is a little flawed, given that Game Pass allows players to access games without even needing a console, apart from the fact that this will also extend to future console generations. , which could be used by Microsoft to attract new players.
In any case, Activision has stated that it does not intend to place its releases on subscription services, even after the possible merger with Microsoft. So, we can only wait to find out what will happen.
Original text – 10/13/2022
Microsoft says Sony hurts consumers by blocking Game Pass on PlayStation
In recent weeks, Sony and Microsoft have had their feud exposed to the public in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard.
In a batch of documents sent to the UK body, the Xbox owner accuses the Japanese company of blocking Game Pass on PlayStation consoles, harming its consumers.
In early September, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA in the original acronym), the UK’s antitrust regulator, delivered its initial verdict on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and opted to extend the investigation into a second phase.
The body’s concern is that Microsoft’s rivals, mainly Sony, will be weakened with franchises like Call of Duty being exclusive to the Xbox, in addition to the Activision Blizzard catalog on Game Pass, which could break competition from other cloud gaming services.
In a document shared by Tom Warren of The Verge, Microsoft used harsh words to accuse the UK regulator of being more concerned about PlayStation than the end consumer, attacking Sony for price increases, even though it is leader of the Marketplace.
Microsoft says Sony has “chosen to block Game
Pass from PlayStation” and that it has “elected to protect its revenues from sales of newly released games, rather than offer gamers the choice of accessing them via its subscription, PlayStation Plus.” All a response to UK’s CMA pic.twitter.com/ytOIhLRoIr
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) October 12, 2022
However, the most interesting accusation is that Microsoft suggests that it offered Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation, something its rival would have blocked. With the decision, it would have denied its customers the option of choosing the service.
Microsoft also stresses that since all games available on Game Pass can be purchased, Call of Duty players will still be able to purchase the game on PlayStation, an amount that would be cheaper than getting an Xbox console.
The company also slams Sony, saying that the Japanese company does not know how to deal with the competition and has chosen to protect its revenues instead of putting its releases directly on PlayStation Plus.