, which asserts that many of its rival’s first-party games “are greater quality,” boasts more exclusive games than. Microsoft claimed in a letter to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is investigating the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, lest you think the corporation is dumping on its gaming studios for no apparent reason. Despite being filed on October 31st, it is noted that the document has only recently become available to the public.
Sony is a significant game publisher in addition to being the leading console manufacturer, according to Microsoft’s statement to the CMA. “Sony is nearly twice as big as Microsoft’s game publishing division and roughly the size of Activision.” In 2021, “there were over 280 exclusive first- and third-party titles on PlayStation, approximately five times as many as on Xbox,” the business continued.
Sony enters into agreements with outside publishers for exclusive rights to games in addition to its properties like The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, and Spider-Man. Microsoft lists the popular games that aren’t or won’t be accessible on Xbox as Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Bloodborne, the forthcoming, and.
Console exclusives account for a higher percentage of global game sales for Sony than Microsoft, the latter claimed (Sony just revealed that it sold 5.1 million copies of God of War Ragnarok in the game’s launch week). However, many Xbox players opt to access Microsoft’s exclusives instead of buying them outright — a point that Microsoft doesn’t touch on while discussing the companies’ sales proportions for their exclusive games.
In addition, Microsoft pointed to review scores for PlayStation and Xbox games. “The average Metacritic score for Sony’s top 20 exclusive games in 2021 was 87/100, against 80/100 for Xbox,” Microsoft claimed.
Microsoft is spotlighting these factors because game exclusivity and competition concerns are important considerations that regulators reviewing the proposed Activision buyout are exploring. From Sony’s perspective, one of the key sticking points of the Activision merger is the possibility that Microsoft will make the Call of Duty franchise (said to be to PlayStation) exclusive to Xbox. it offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation earlier this month. Nevertheless, Microsoft claimed in the filing “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.”
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer on The Verge‘s Decoder podcast last week that the Activision deal was largely about scooping up mobile gaming giant King. Mobile “is a place where if we don’t gain relevancy as a gaming brand, over time the business will become untenable,” Spencer said. (Xbox Cloud Gaming runs on phones and tablets as well.)
Microsoft doubled down on the mobile side of the deal in its CMA filing. “As it stands, Xbox has no material presence on mobile and its ability to reach gamers on mobile is impeded by Apple and Google’s effective duopoly in the provision of mobile app stores. The acquisition of Activision provides Xbox with capabilities and content on mobile, which it currently lacks while creating new distribution options for game developers outside of the mobile app stores.” Of note, the CMA it’s investigating Apple and Google’s “stranglehold over operating systems, app stores and web browsers on mobile devices.”
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has tried to downplay the significance of the proposal. It claimed over the summer that Activision Blizzard, despite being behind the likes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (which in 10 days), (35 million players in its first month), World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush Saga ( since launch). Activision Blizzard’s games last quarter. However, Blizzard stands to lose millions of players in China when many of its games.
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