Microsoft is making serious accusations against its competitor Sony. The Redmond company claims that Sony is sabotaging the Xbox Game Pass gaming flat rate by paying for so-called blocking rights.
Is Sony sabotaging Xbox Game Pass?
Microsoft’s game flat rate Xbox Game Pass has been a huge success. Not only for millions of subscribers worldwide, but also for game publishers, who have already spoken positively about the subscription model on several occasions. Smaller indie studios in particular benefit from offering their titles or the rights to them in Game Pass.
Now, however, Microsoft is making serious accusations against its direct competitor Sony. This emerges from a document that Microsoft published and handed over to the responsible authorities as part of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in Brazil.
Microsoft claims Sony would pay for so-called blocking rights to prevent developers from offering their content on Xbox Game Pass “and other competing subscription services”.
However, the lawyers’ document does not go into further detail. So it remains unclear what content and games for the Xbox or PC Game Pass Microsoft is specifically talking about. It is also unclear why Sony is blocking the rights to use certain titles and whether the aim is to damage Microsoft’s booming Game Pass.
It’s also conceivable that Sony is reserving the rights in order to further expand its recently expanded PlayStation Plus catalog, which – at least so far – hasn’t quite become the competitor to Xbox Game Pass that many fans had hoped for.
Call of Duty: Shooter hit to continue on Sony consoles
With the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the rights to the shooter series Call of Duty will also pass to Microsoft. The CoD series has been one of the best-selling game series par excellence since its debut in 2003, topping the sales charts every year after its release in the fall.
The penultimate spin-off, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is said to have sold around 6 million digital-only copies in the month of its release alone, in November 2020.
So Microsoft confirmed in a document to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense in Brazil that the Call of Duty series will not be exclusive to Microsoft consoles in the future, as VideogameChronicle reports.
The reason is simple: CoD as an Xbox exclusive title is simply not profitable from a financial point of view. Sure, after all, the company would lose several million copies sold by PlayStation gamers.
In return, however, owners of the Xbox console family are likely to benefit from other advantages, including possibly an earlier release or exclusive content – which has always been in the Sony camp in recent years. For example, also in the form of exclusive console designs.