Microsoft accuses Sony of blocking games from Xbox Game Pass by paying devs
In response to Sony’s concerns over the Activision Blizzard buyout, Microsoft have accused Sony of paying developers “block fees” to keep their games off Game Pass to “inhibit” its growth.
The rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation has been going on for over 20 years and it appears to be ramping up with Microsoft’s shock Activision Blizzard buyout. Sony have previously claimed that Call of Duty is “an essential game” that “has no rival,” and Xbox owning the franchise could “influences users’ console choice.”
Microsoft have confirmed their plans to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation and, as reported by VGC, have defended the acquisition, accusing Sony of paying developers a “block fee” to keep their games off Game Pass.
VGC reported that Microsoft accused Sony of trying to “inhibit growth” of Game Pass in a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).
“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,” claimed Microsoft in the report.
Also in the document, Microsoft responded to Sony’s claim that making Call of Duty Xbox and PC exclusive would be anti-competitive. Bringing up Sony’s own exclusivity strategy, Microsoft responded: “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,” Microsoft continued.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is set to conclude in 2023, but we’ll likely need to wait until much later to know how the deal affects Call of Duty, as well as the possibility of the games arriving on Game Pass.
Sony’s marketing deal with Call of Duty still stands for the foreseeable, with PlayStation users getting early access to Modern Warfare 2’s beta.
Image Credit: Microsoft