This give-and-take is getting a bit ridiculous: Sony has confirmed that there will be no Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation platforms, and Microsoft has announced that they allow no access to PlayStation Plus!
Microsoft is rumored to have offered Sony a ten-year deal for PlayStation native access to Call of Duty to speed up the European Commission’s process of approving the $68.7 billion deal that guarantees Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. It’s the typical Redmond-based company waltz; they just want to get what they think they deserve. Still, in the meantime, Sony and Microsoft have both submitted documents to the UK’s market and competition authority, the CMA. From these, we learn that they have blocked each other’s subscription services!
“Microsoft argues that demand for multi-game subscription services would not tip towards Game Pass because Microsoft would also make Game Pass available on PlayStation (Microsoft, para.1.3(g)). But the wider availability of the leading provider (Game Pass), now endowed with exclusive irreplaceable content, and protected by direct and indirect network effects, would make it harder – not easier – for rival multi-game subscription services to compete. Microsoft’s stance that Game Pass availability on PlayStation would be a panacea for the harm from this Transaction rings particularly hollow given that Microsoft does not permit PlayStation Plus to be available on Xbox,” Sony wrote on page 14 of its document.
Microsoft echoed it on page 13 of its paper: “[…] Nor is there any basis for the idea that acquiring Call of Duty could ‘tip’ subscription services in Xbox’s favor. Sony has chosen to block Game Pass from PlayStation, which is unavailable on PlayStation. As all games that are available on Game Pass are also available to purchase, PlayStation gamers will continue to have the ability to buy Call of Duty on PlayStation. And doing so will still cost less than switching by buying a new Xbox console.”
And that, indeed, won’t be ending anytime soon. Especially if the FTC, the US Federal Trade Commission, brings an antitrust case against Microsoft!