Xbox claims Sony is paying developers to keep their games off Game Pass

Microsoft claims Sony may be paying game developers for refusing to add their games to Xbox Game Pass and fighting takeover criticism.

As Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard nears completion, the company must convince a multitude of governments around the world Xbox take over Candy Crush, Diabloand call of Duty is indeed not an example of antitrust conduct. The documents that Microsoft is submitting to the relevant governing bodies to facilitate this takeover have proven to be particularly intriguing.

The latest example of Microsoft’s odd and surprisingly conspicuous comments on the state of the industry comes from its submission to Brazil’s Economic Defense Council (CADE). The document justifies Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and claims that Sony is helping prevent titles from launching on Game Pass by paying developers.


RELATED: Microsoft Comments on Potential Call of Duty Xbox Exclusivity, Says It Wouldn’t Be ‘Profitable’

Microsoft’s letter to CADE doesn’t mince words. “Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass,” the document reads. Although parts of it have been redacted for reasons of likely confidentiality, the crux of the argument is that Sony may be paying game developers specifically not to offer their games on Xbox’s subscription service. Many still consider the renewed PS Plus to be inferior to Xbox Game Pass, and Microsoft is suggesting that one of the ways Sony is stifling Xbox’s growth is by “bribing” developers to stay away from it.

The CADE letter is believed to have been sent along with Microsoft’s report to the Commerce Commission of New Zealand stating that Activision Blizzard games are not must-have titles. This was spurred on by Sony’s claims call of Duty, in particular, is an unrivaled blockbuster that effectively shouldn’t be owned by a first-party console maker. At the same time, it should be noted that Microsoft has stated that a limit would not make sense COD on just one console platform and that it won’t let its PlayStation fans down.

Unsurprisingly, this is just a small part of the ongoing tug of war between Microsoft and Sony. Microsoft has recently been making a concerted effort to address Sony’s takeover concerns, and it’s clear that the software company is doing everything it can to appear as safe and benign as possible in the gaming arena. At the same time, Sony is trying to portray this acquisition as anti-competitive behavior and it’s not yet clear which side lawmakers might lean towards.

It is of course not difficult to understand where Sony comes from. Xbox now controls two classic PlayStation IPs alongside a host of others, all fairly well established across the gaming console spectrum. The main concern is likely to be that Xbox could pull the plug to support PlayStation for a long period of time, which certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented.

MORE: Why US Senators like Bernie Sanders are concerned about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Source: Government of Brazil Xbox claims Sony is paying developers to keep their games off Game Pass


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