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Xbox has accused Sony of paying Game Pass 'block fees' to developers

Xbox has accused Sony of paying Game Pass 'block fees' to developers

Sony reportedly pays for "blocking rights" from developers in exchange for their agreement to keep their work off of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscription service. According to the company, Sony is attempting to inhibit the growth of its subscription service.

The Xbox company claimed that Sony actively works to "inhibit growth" of Game Pass by trying to stop content from appearing on it in a document submitted to Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) to support its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The comments are a part of Microsoft's response to Sony's claims made to the Brazilian body, which makes a large portion of its responses public, that the acquisition of Call of Duty by Xbox would be anti-competitive.

Sony's concern over a potential exclusivity of Activision's content is "incoherent, to say the least," according to Microsoft in the documents made available by CADE. "Considering that exclusivity strategies have been at the core of Sony's strategy to strengthen its presence in the games industry, and that Sony is a leader in the distribution of digital games," Microsoft writes.

"It only shows, once again, a fear about an innovative business model that provides high-quality content to gamers at low costs, threatening a leadership that has been forged from a device-centric and exclusivity-focused strategy over the years," the author writes.

The statement continues, "In fact, Sony's desire to impede such growth has prevented Microsoft from expanding Game Pass. To stop content creators from adding to Game Pass and other rival subscription services, Sony pays for "blocking rights."

These kinds of platform agreements are common in the games industry, and in documents made public as part of the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit last year, PlayStation was even mentioned as blocking the appearance of third-party games on Game Pass.

The document is redacted to exclude the remainder of its response and two additional claims under the same section, presumably for privacy reasons.

In another section of the document, Microsoft argued that Sony "railed against the introduction of new monetization models capable of challenging its business model" and that Sony "does not want attractive subscription services to threaten its dominance in the digital distribution market for console games."

Xbox is reportedly aiming to hit a target number of Game Pass subscribers before it considers dropping Xbox Live Gold
Before considering removing Xbox Live Gold, Xbox is reportedly aiming to reach a target number of Game Pass subscribers.

Along with Bandai Namco and Ubisoft, Sony was one of several outside businesses that gave CADE feedback last month on the proposed Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Because Xbox has "an essential game - a blockbuster, a AAA-type game that has no rival," according to Sony, the acquisition may persuade users to switch platforms.

Should Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard be successful, Phil Spencer, head of gaming at Microsoft, declared in January that he intended to keep Call of Duty available on PlayStation platforms.

Later, it was asserted that Activision Blizzard was legally bound to release only the upcoming Call of Duty titles Modern Warfare 2 and the following three for PlayStation consoles.

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  1. False accusations as usual from Microsoft

  2. Nevermind the fact that MS is buying up all of the gaming industries forming a monopoly on that. It's ok for them but not for their competitors.

  3. "No, your not allowed to be successful!!" It's not fair if your making more money then me!!! 🥺 -Sony

  4. Xbox played nice when they didn't have to and Sony still threw a tantrum trying to stop the Blizzard Activision Acquisition. The "Console War" idea Sony holds onto is now and will continue to be its downfall.


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