Gaming

Microsoft accuses Sony of paying ‘lockdown rights’ to certain studios to impoverish Game Pass – Always For Keyboard

If we’ve known for a long time that Sony loves aggressive competition, the documents written by Microsoft go further: they accuse the Japanese giant of paying for “lock rights” to keep their games from being added to Game Pass.

As The Verge notes, these white papers were submitted to the Brazilian regulator as part of the Activision-Blizzard takeover. Thus, this is not a press statement, but a legal message. Microsoft points out, in particular, that Game Pass’s growth was “hampered by Sony’s desire to contain said growth” and that the Japanese company “pays a lock-in fee to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other subscription services.”

Microsoft’s accusation may seem like a response to Sony, which complained that the Activision takeover would have a significant impact on the console wars. The American company has pointed out that this is not the case, it is necessary to point out the irony that Sony has been paying for timid Call of Duty exclusives for many years. While the wheel seems to be spinning quite violently, it’s pretty funny to see the PlayStation maker getting uptight!

For his part, the head of the Xbox division has already indicated that he is spending “zero energy” on this famous console war that is fueling social media; Phil Spencer has repeatedly stated himself for the fact that as many players as possible can have access to as many games as possible. So, despite the exclusivity of upcoming games like Starfield or Elder Scrolls VI, it’s interesting to note that Microsoft has indicated that its catalog won’t be reserved for Xbox only.

While the documents handed over to the Brazilian authorities weren’t meant to be made public, Sony could sue its rival for defamation… unless it’s all true. Because the bad image given here by Sony is not new. In September 2018, its CEO Kenichiro Yoshida stated that crossplay was useless because “PlayStation is the best place to play”; four years later, a lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple revealed that Sony was charging third-party developers for profits made outside of their ecosystem, including crossplay. More recently, indie developers have said they need to shell out a lot of money to get any sort of publicity; it is clear that this is not excessive.

However, in recent years, Sony has shown openness: the takeover of Nixxes Software and the release of several PC exclusives, such as Horizon Zero Dawn or Days Gone, boded a slightly brighter future. And yet, no, as young people say.

Because Sony only releases the first titles years later: so the idea is to use the most popular back catalog (consisting of quite old games) to attract PC players and get them to continue the sagas on PlayStation. Meanwhile, the new games are pure exclusives or even temporary: thus, the remake of the classic Knights of the Old Republic will only be available on PlayStation when it is released. Same story with the amazing Demon’s Souls remake that was announced on PC before Sony pulled out.

As you already understood, the Japanese titan has no right to complain about rivals after so many years of dubious practice. In theory, the Activision-Blizzard acquisition should go smoothly and thus give Microsoft a significant strategic advantage; on the contrary, Sony risks getting into legal trouble by continuing to pay bribes to publishers and studios to keep them from putting their projects on Game Pass…

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