Microsoft Accuses Sony of Paying Developers to Block Xbox Game Pass Titles

Microsoft accuses Sony of paying developers to prevent them from adding their games to Xbox Game Pass.


Xbox Game Pass has changed the industry by allowing gamers to access a vast, rotating library of fantastic games, big and small. It’s made games incredibly accessible on Xbox and even some of the other devices that support the service, and it’s allowed developers to get their games more exposure and introduce gamers to games they might not have otherwise played. It’s an excellent service loosely mimicked by PlayStation’s recently launched PlayStation Plus service. It’s not identical, but it draws from Xbox Game Pass.

In a document sent to the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (via the VGC) to justify Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, Xbox claimed that Sony is actively trying to “inhibit” the growth of Xbox Game Pass by taking steps to prevent content from appearing on the service. Microsoft has used this to counter Sony’s claims that nothing can compete with Call of Duty and its concerns about one platform taking ownership of it, noting that the franchise influences consumers’ choice of console. The document mentioned above stated that Sony plays a crucial role in PlayStation’s strategy and called the company’s concerns about Activision’s exclusivity “incoherent”. The platform holder described how Sony is trying to prevent developers from putting their games on Xbox Game Pass.

“In fact, Microsoft’s ability to further expand Game Pass has been hampered by Sony’s efforts to inhibit that growth,” the document reads. “Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services.”

This is not an entirely new tactic for either party. While Xbox Game Pass is a new concept, the idea of paying to keep another game from being released on another platform has been around for a while. Rise of the Tomb Raider was an Xbox One exclusive for a year before it made its way to PlayStation. On the other side of the fence, PlayStation has received several third-party exclusives, such as Final Fantasy VII Remake. Regardless, this is a legitimate argument for Microsoft to make to counter Sony’s other claims.

What do you think about Sony paying to prevent games from being on Xbox Game Pass? Let us know in the comments!

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