Wednesday, November 23, 2022
As the investigations into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard continue, Microsoft has admitted that Sony has “more exclusive games than Microsoft, many of which are better quality” in a statement regarding the deal's potential impact on marketplace competitivity. Indeed, it claims that Sony Interactive Entertainment is a far bigger and more powerful publisher.
"In addition to being the dominant console provider, Sony is also a powerful game publisher," reads Microsoft's response to a CMA Issues Statement (via Eurogamer). “Sony is roughly equivalent in size to Activision and nearly double the size of Microsoft's game publishing business.”
It cites “iconic” major first-party PlayStation franchises like The Last of Us, God of War, Uncharted, Ghost of Tsushima, Marvel's Spider-Man, Horizon, Days Gone, and Destiny 2 (the sci-fi MMO shooter is now a PlayStation IP since Sony's acquisition of Bungie for $3.6bn), highlighting the volume of console-exclusive games released for PlayStation last year in comparison to Xbox.
“There were over 280 exclusive first- and third-party titles on PlayStation in 2021, nearly five times as many as on Xbox,” the statement continues. "Sony has more exclusive games than Microsoft, many of which are better quality". It also notes that many of Sony's agreements have seen third-party publishers releasing games only for PlayStation, requiring the “exclusion” of Xbox, the recently-announced Silent Hill 2 remake and Final Fantasy VII Remake being two examples.
"It is implausible that Sony, the leading console with a more than 2-to-1 lead, would be foreclosed as a result of not having access to a single franchise," the document adds, referencing Call of Duty. Sony has argued that Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard would have a major detrimental impact on its ability to compete, despite a deal being inked to keep the series on PlayStation.
"Even if it were to lose all of its Call of Duty gamers, a highly improbable outcome, thePlayStation gamer base would remain significantly larger than Xbox," Microsoft's statement continues. “Sony would need to lose a substantially higher number of non-Call of Duty gamers than actual Call of Duty gamers for its total MAUs (Monthly Active Users) to fall to Xbox’s current level.
“This is not credible, and yet even in such an unrealistic scenario the CMA could not conclude that Sony would be likely to be foreclosed given that Xbox is a viable competitor today at this same level of MAUs”.
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