Microsoft Accuses Sony of Blocking Games From Game Pass and Responds to Anti-Competitive Claims

Microsoft Sony

Microsoft responds to Sony’s latest claims that its Activision acquisition is anti-competitive and slams the company for “blocking rights” that prevent third-party games from joining Xbox Game Pass.

Sony claimed that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is anti-competitive last month when responding to a request by Brazil’s regulatory body, CADE. Sony also claimed that Call of Duty would be enough to sway users’ choice when buying a console and that Game Pass is disrupting the industry.

Microsoft has responded in a 27-page document in a reply to CADE, shooting down every claim made by Sony.

“Sony’s public statements on subscription games and its response to the SG’s letter are clear,” the response reads. “Sony does not want attractive subscription services to threaten its dominance in the digital distribution market for console games. Microsoft said of Sony’s claims against Game Pass.

“Sony’s own PlayStation, incidentally, has an established base of loyal brand players. Such a finding, however, does not lead to the conclusion that the PlayStation – or any branded product with loyal consumers – is a separate market from all other consoles.” said Microsoft in response to the Call of Duty comments. “Extrapolating from such a finding to the extreme conclusion that Call of Duty is a ‘category of games per se’ is simply unjustifiable under any quantitative or qualitative analysis.”

Microsoft then goes a step further to accuse Sony of deliberately hampering down the growth of Xbox Game Pass. The document claims that Sony has been paying third-party companies for “blocking rights”, which essentially prevents them from adding their games to any competing subscription services.

“Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been hampered by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth,” claims Microsoft in an August 9th filing to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), as translated from Portuguese. “Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services.”

Microsoft has certainly made a compelling case against Sony’s claims to CADE. However, it is worth noting that Microsoft’s claims regarding Sony’s “blocking rights” remain unconfirmed by any external sources.

Thanks, The Verge and VGC

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