Microsoft Accused Sony Of 'Blocking' Game Pass Games
If it's anything we don't need right now, it's another full-on console war. We genuinely thought we were done with this - Xbox boss Phil Spencer has been jovial with the news that PlayStation would be attempting to challenge the Game Pass.
If that wasn't enough, the Microsoft boss has also been upfront about the fact that PlayStation-exclusive God of War: Ragnarok is his most-anticipated game. Though the battle for consumer allegiance was once much angrier, it has softened in the face of cross-play and more distinct identities for Xbox and PlayStation - but now, it could be about to get worse.
Is Sony Blocking Games From Game Pass?
In a pretty extensive document that Microsoft submitted to the Brazilian government as part of the ongoing investigation into the purchase of Activision Blizzard on Xbox's part, the gaming giant claimed Sony has been paying game developers a bribe to keep them from appearing on the Xbox Game Pass. Naughty, naughty.
The pretty bold accusation shows up in rebuttals to Sony's objections to the buyout. Sony has made a case as part of fears that a purchase so large could lead to the monopolisation of the industry, focussing mostly on the capital over the huge Call of Duty franchise.
The response from Microsoft features a lashing out, claiming that "the use of exclusive arrangements has been at the heart of Sony's strategy to strengthen its presence in the gaming industry." Microsoft goes on to claim Sony is buying off devs with "'blocking rights' to prevent delvelopers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services."
What Does This Mean For The Gaming Industry?
If this is revealed as true, it means the gaming industry is getting used, once again, to playing dirty. This is a pretty bold accusation and would be proof of Sony's distaste for Game Pass's success, even though its dominance in the world of digital distribution still makes it the industry leader.
Sony dishing out blocking payments would be a pretty grim notice of its business practices... if it's true. Take everything with a pinch of salt, but if Microsoft ends up lowering itself to this level, things could start to get messy - leading to Call of Duty Xbox exclusivity and the blocking of crossplay on some titles. Things could be about to get rough. Brace yourselves because this could get ugly.