Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would lead to higher prices and worse deals for indie developers – Sony

Among the details revealed in Sony’s latest 22-page statement to Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority, the company said that if Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard were to go through, developers would be hurt in the long term and customers would suffer price increases .

Sony believes the regulator’s investigation will ultimately halt the purchase, given the damage it would cause to competition in the market if approved. Call Call of Duty an irreplaceable franchise, Sony says that Microsoft’s ownership of the IP would seriously unbalance the market against PlayStation.

“Microsoft would control irreplaceable content that drives user engagement,” Sony said in the statement. “After the transaction, Microsoft would control Activision content [redacted] times more user engagement on PlayStation than all of SIE’s top first-party titles combined.

Sony believes that in the absence of Call of Duty releases on PlayStation, a “significant number” of gamers would switch to Xbox instead. And since it’s the spark that reduces competition in the market, Microsoft would raise the prices of its consoles, its games and even the PC and Xbox Game Pass.

“Microsoft’s lockdown strategy would lock many consumers into Xbox, including existing Xbox users who play Call of Duty and those switching from PlayStation to gaming Call of Duty. Those locked-in users would be less likely to change in response to any pro-competitive action by SIE, Sony says.

“This would effectively prevent SIE from competing for a large portion of the console players’ business, thereby reducing its incentives to invest. »

Speaking of how the deal would hurt developers, Sony believes that Microsoft’s market-leading position will give the company a monopoly when it comes to subscription services with Xbox Game Pass, which could cause Microsoft to offer inferior deals to indie developers.

“When Microsoft banned PlayStation/PlayStation Plus, it was likely to become an important distribution channel for indie developers,” Sony says. “In this weakened bargaining position, indie developers will likely receive worse terms for their content from Microsoft or even be asked to promise exclusivity in exchange for distribution, thereby reducing the ability and incentive for indie developers to invest in new high-quality games. again further harming consumers.


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