Microsoft has said that Sony is paying developers to “block rights” to prevent their content from appearing on Xbox Game Pass.
As part of a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) to justify its purchase of Activision Blizzard, the Xbox company said that Sony is actively trying to “suppress” the growth of Game Pass to prevent content from appearing. In it (via VGC).
Given that exclusivity strategies are at the heart of Sony’s strategy to strengthen its presence in the gaming industry, and that Sony is a leader in digital game distribution, Sony’s concerns about possible exclusivity of Activision’s content are inconsistent, to say the least. – says the Microsoft document.
“It just shows once again the fear of an innovative business model that brings high-quality content to gamers at a low price, threatening the leadership that has been developed over the years from a device-centric and exclusivity-oriented strategy.” It goes on to say, “In fact, Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been hampered by Sony’s desire to stop that growth. Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services.”
The remainder of your claim and two other claims in the same section are redacted in the document, presumably for confidentiality purposes.
Elsewhere in the document, Microsoft said Sony “doesn’t want attractive subscription services to threaten its dominance in the digital distribution market for console games,” arguing: “In other words, Sony is critical of introducing new monetization models that could challenge. their business model”.
It’s worth noting that, while this sounds like news, it’s not surprising in the capitalist world of video games. Just as publishers pay for exclusivity, it’s practically normal for the opposite to happen, i.e. pay not to be exclusive. The point is that we will never understand the values behind these arrangements.