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Xbox Accuses Sony Of Paying Developers Game Pass “Block Fees”

Microsoft has recently claimed that Sony and PlayStation have been paying developers big and small for “blocking rights” in return for them not putting their games on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

This is part of a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense(CADE) to justify its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as well as a response to Sony claiming that Xbox buying Activision Blizzard and Call of Duty would be “anti-competitive”. Xbox stated that Sony is attempting to “inhibit growth” of its Game Pass service by preventing content from appearing on it. Here is part of the statement from 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, Sony’s concern with possible exclusivity of Activision‘s content is incoherent, to say the least. It only reveals, once again, a fear about an innovative business model that offers high-quality content at low costs to gamers, threatening a leadership that has been forged from a device-centric and exclusivity-focused strategy over the years.

Indeed, Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been obstructed by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth. Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services.”

Microsoft also claimed that Sony does not want any sort of attractive subscription services to “threaten its dominance” in the online distribution market for console games via its PlayStation Plus.

“In other words, Sony rails against the introduction of new monetization models capable of challenging its business model.”

Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spencer said earlier this January that he plans to keep the Call of Duty games on PlayStation platforms if the acquisition is done. Then again, the next three Call of Duty games will be out on PlayStation as part of a previous contract.

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