Microsoft and Sony have always made their respective platforms, Xbox and PlayStation, gripping with their exclusive content. This only became an issue once Microsoft started acquiring other game development companies once available on most platforms, effectively throwing a wrench. As a result, Microsoft is trying to secure deals with other companies to keep their newly acquired titles on most platforms. Still, Sony isn’t biting because they tend to break their promises and trust.
RELATED: Nintendo Microsoft Game Pass Deal Could Be Competition For Steam Deck
Microsoft Breaking Promises
The current big issue on the market is that Microsoft is trying to acquire Activision Blizzard, hot on the heels of requiring ZeniMax Media and their child company Bethesda. Before they had managed to finalise the acquisition, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer had mentioned that they had no interest in making Bethesda games exclusive to Xbox but that they would be working on a “case-by-case basis” when it came to handling multiformat and multi-platform releases, and that some, Bethesda games would continue to release on other platforms, but stressed that this wouldn’t be the case with all of them.
It was later revealed that both Redfall and Starfield, two upcoming Bethesda games, were only given launch dates that were Xbox-specific, meaning that they are seeing an exclusive release. Experts thought the upcoming The Elder Scrolls 6 would see the same fate, something Bethesda’s Todd Howard believed wouldn’t happen. However, a year after settling the merger, Spencer says he sees the same happening to The Elder Scrolls 6.
When everything was said and done, Spencer returned to his previous statement, admitting that the deal was actually about giving customers “great exclusive games” to platforms that have access to the Game Pass, not all platforms. Unfortunately for Xbox, Sony is now using this as proof that Microsoft has gone back on its word before.
RELATED: Microsoft Claims It Lost The Xbox VS PlayStation War, Which Is Finally Over
Microsoft Acquiring Activision Blizzard
Microsoft is in the middle of trying to acquire Activision Blizzard, the game studio behind a favourite game franchise on all platforms, Call of Duty. Currently, the only obstacle in their way is approval from regulators, not any other large platform. However, at least publicly, Microsoft has been doing everything it can to appease everyone.
Microsoft has entered a legally binding agreement with Nintendo to keep Call of Duty on their platform, at least for the next ten years. It can’t back out without inviting a lawsuit onto its doorstep. Microsoft is offering the same deal to Sony, but they aren’t biting, saying they don’t trust Microsoft to keep their word.
Sony made a statement to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regarding the Activision buyout, explicitly referencing the situation with Bethesda as proof that Microsoft’s willing to disrespect public promises. ” While not a violation of a behavioural commitment, Microsoft’s conduct in relation to the ZeniMax acquisition provides additional evidence of why a behavioural commitment should be approached with caution.”
The statement further highlights Microsoft stating to the European Commission that it had no incentive to stop ZeniMax games from remaining on a wide variety of platforms, saying that they even encourage it because it is good for the gaming ecosystem. And yet, instead of just leaving the games on the platforms, they are making time-sensitive deals to ensure it, meaning that after those ten years, they might change their mind. Time will tell if Sony will cave and take the deal. Still, the deal only matters if Microsoft successfully acquires Activision Blizzard.
RELATED: Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard. Who’s Next?
- Microsoft is trying to acquire Activision Blizzard as they did with Bethesda and ZeniMax Media.
- Microsoft is offering Sony a deal to keep Activision Blizzard games like Call of Duty on PlayStation. Still, Sony doesn’t trust that Microsoft will keep their promise.
- Microsoft has gone back on what they have said before, initially saying that Bethesda games wouldn’t be Xbox exclusives. Still, all the new Bethesda games only have Xbox release dates.
What are your thoughts on the Sony Microsoft exclusive argument?