The statements of Microsoft and Sony that were recently released by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) reveal many interesting points. Aside from their own stands regarding the proposed $69 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition, it gives us insights into the previous interactions between the two companies. One of them is the revealed proposals to bring each other’s service to the platform of their own competitors.
One of the main issues regarding the merger is the possibility of the gaming choices in the market becoming limited once the deal closes. With this, while it sounds absurd (and despite the huge chance that each one would receive no for an answer), it is no surprise that Sony and Microsoft tried offering to bring their services to each other’s platform. Sony highlights Microsoft’s response to its proposal.
“Microsoft’s stance that Game Pass availability on PlayStation would be a panacea for the harm from this Transaction rings particularly hollow given that Microsoft does not permit PlayStation Plus to be available on Xbox,” Sony says in its statement.
In turn, Microsoft also states that the same thing happened to Xbox when Microsoft tried to offer its service to PlayStation. In its own statement, Microsoft directly says that Sony itself blocked Game Pass from PlayStation.
“Nor is there any basis for the idea that acquiring Call of Duty could ‘tip’ subscription services in Xbox’s favour. Sony has chosen to block Game Pass from PlayStation, so it is not available on PlayStation,” Microsoft’s statement reads. “As all games that are available on Game Pass are also available to purchase, PlayStation gamers will continue to have the ability to buy Call of Duty on PlayStation. And doing so will still cost less than the cost of switching by buying a new Xbox console.”
The responses of both companies are expected, given that the idea of allowing a rival’s service into their platforms seems a lot like a Trojan horse. In case it happens, it will always translate to negative impacts on both Microsoft and Sony, regardless of how huge or small the effect is in their gaming businesses. However, Sony might have a greater issue with this since the presence of Game Pass (which allows access to hundreds of titles and day-and-date releases) on its platform could threaten its own PlayStation Plus gaming service.