Microsoft accused Sony pay developers “right to block” to prevent games from appearing on Xbox Game Pass, as reported by Eurogamer. The tech giant leveled the allegations in a 27-page document filed with Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) as part of a government agency investigation into Activision Blizzard purchase.
Sony had previously opposed Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard mainly out of concern that Microsoft might make Call of Duty Xbox exclusive franchise. Sony feels that Call of Duty is “unrivalled” and has such an impact as a franchise that it can influence a user’s choice of console. Japanese gaming and the tech giants believe the deal will hinder their ability to compete in the market.
Initially, after the deal was announced, Microsoft said it would not make Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive franchise, and reiterated the same. It is said that Call of Duty is not as influential as Sony believes and adds that it has managed to develop Xbox Game Pass without the support of Activision Blizzard titles.
Microsoft has targeted Sony for fear of exclusive Xbox titles and loss of market share. The tech giant is said to have mentioned in the document that “the use of exclusivity agreements is central to Sony’s strategy to strengthen its presence in the gaming industry” and that the relationship Sony’s focus is “incoherent” as it is leading the market when it comes to digital game distribution with the dominance of PlayStation. The US tech giant went on to say that it was Sony who actively hindered the development of Game Pass by paying for “‘block rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and subscription services. other competition”.
Regarding Sony’s fear of losing market share, Microsoft went on to say that the Game Pass business model of providing “high-quality content at a low cost to players” would threaten its “forged” market leadership position. from a strategy of focusing on equipment and focusing on exclusivity”.