Xbox has accused Sony of paying developers to prevent them from putting their games on Xbox Game Pass. Xbox Game Pass has been a game changer for the industry as it allows gamers access to a massive rotating library of amazing games, both big and small. It has made gaming on Xbox and even some other devices that support the service incredibly accessible and has allowed developers the chance to get their game more recognition and introduce players to games they may not have played otherwise. It’s a great service and one that has been loosely mimicked via PlayStation’s recent tiered PlayStation Plus service. It’s not identical, but it certainly appears to be taking cues from Xbox Game Pass.
In a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (via VGC) to justify Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, Xbox stated Sony actively tries to “inhibit growth” for Xbox Game Pass by making moves to block content from appearing on the service . Microsoft used this to counter Sony’s claims that nothing can rival Call of Duty and it had concerns about one platform taking ownership of it, noting that the franchise influences console choice for consumers. The aforementioned document went on to note that Sony is a key part of the PlayStation strategy and called the company’s concerns about Activision exclusivity “incoherent”. The platform holder went on to describe how Sony has been trying to prevent developers from putting their games on Xbox Game Pass.
“Indeed, Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been obstructed by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth,” reads the document. “Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services.”
This isn’t a completely new tactic for either party. While Xbox Game Pass is a new concept, the idea of paying to prevent another game from going to another platform has existed for a while. Rise of the Tomb Raider was famously given a year of exclusivity on Xbox One before going to PlayStation. On the other side of the fence, PlayStation has had a number of third-party exclusive such as Final Fantasy VII Remake. Nevertheless, it’s a valid point for Microsoft to bring up as a counter to Sony’s other claims.
What do you think of Sony paying to block games from going on Xbox Game Pass? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.