Sony "does not want attractive subscription services to threaten its dominance in the digital distribution market for console games".


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Microsoft and Sony have recently had a some pretty spectacular things to say in Brazil about the former’s intended acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Sony would of course like to stop this if they can and have said that it would be distorting competition if Microsoft had total control of Call of Duty.

Now Microsoft has given a response to this statement to the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE for short), offering a detail that was previously widely rumored, and also hinted at during the Apple/Epic trial. It turns out that Sony is actively paying publishers not to release some of their titles for Game Pass. Here’s the commentary (via VGC), which is very interesting for anyone who wants to know more about what’s going on behind the scenes, where Microsoft also goes hard on Sony claiming them have double standards:

“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.

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.

Indeed, 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.”

There’s even more on this in the document (although not everything is public), where Microsoft argues that Sony fears their market position with pretty expensive games that can only be obtained by buying them will be disrupted if Game Pass becomes too attractive. Therefore, they would rather pay to try to prevent their competitor’s growth rather than offer something better themselves:

“In other words, Sony rails against the introduction of new monetization models capable of challenging its business model.”

What do you think about this tactic from Sony? Is it a good thing they are spending money to prevent content on Game Pass, or should they use the resources in other ways, like creating more content themselves?

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