Microsoft has made strong accusations against Sony, which is considered to have bribed developers not to include their games on Xbox Game Pass.
This allegation is part of Microsoft’s report to the antitrust agency in Brazil and reports related to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activison Blizzard.
“Microsoft’s ability to expand Game Pass was hampered by Sony’s intent to stifle that growth,” Microsoft wrote in a report filed Aug. 9 with the Administrative Council for Economic Defense.
“Sony pays for the right to block developers from adding content to Game Pass and similar services,” they added.
This claim looks harsh, even though Sony might actually just buy exclusive rights from the developer so that the game is only available on the Sony platform. Or it could be that in Sony’s contract with the developer, there is a clause that prohibits developers from publishing their games on other game subscription platforms.
It’s also unclear what Microsoft is accused of, but it’s clear that contracts to publish a game can be very complicated, especially when it involves streaming and subscription services. And game exclusivity is one of the main selling points of a gaming platform.
For example, in the Epic Games vs Apple trial document, there is a clause that states that Microsoft has considered revenue sharing for PC games that allow streaming rights for Microsoft.
If Microsoft goes ahead with that, they could get the exclusive right to make certain games available on the game pass streaming service, which makes the game unavailable on other game streaming services. Similar to what they accused Sony of.