Sony has “exclusion” agreements to keep games like FF7 Remake from Xbox, Microsoft claims


Microsoft’s response to the CMA’s issues statement about Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard includes the claim that Sony arranges Xbox “exclusion” agreements with third-party publishers.

As the discussion around Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal continues, Microsoft’s response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) issue statement about the matter includes arguments about several aspects of the deal, including Microsoft’s claim that “Sony has more exclusive games than Microsoft, many of which are better quality.”

sony games excluded from xbox

Microsoft claims that Sony arranges Xbox “exclusion” agreements with third-party publishers

Microsoft’s response to the CMA’s issues statement is a hefty document, but around the middle we get to Microsoft’s claim that “Sony has more exclusive games than Microsoft, many of which are better quality.” Under this heading, Microsoft expands on that claim, saying, “Exclusivity strategies are not uncommon in the games industry and other market participants have access to their own content. Both Sony’s and Nintendo’s exclusive first-party games rank among the best-selling in Europe and worldwide.” Microsoft gives examples of Sony’s exclusive first-party titles like Ghosts of Tsushima and God of War, before going on to add, “In addition to having outright exclusive content, Sony has also entered into arrangements with third-party publishers which require the ‘exclusion’ of Xbox from the set of platforms these publishers can distribute their games on.” Microsoft gives “prominent examples of these agreements” such as Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy XVI, From Software’s Bloodborne, and Bloober Team’s Silent Hill 2 remake.

A little below this argument, Microsoft also claims that Sony’s exclusive content is both “more successful than Microsoft’s” and gets “better ratings from industry experts.”

Microsoft’s arguments seem to be in response to the concern from Sony and other parties about the impact that might be seen if Microsoft were to make Call of Duty Xbox exclusive once the acquisition is finalised. Microsoft’s president Brad Smith recently shared an opinion article, however, stating that it would be “economically irrational” to stop making Call of Duty available on PlayStation.

What do you think of Microsoft’s claims, and of the deal and its progress in general? Let us know in the comments!



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