May 28, 2023


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Microsoft makes no distinction between acquiring one giant and one studio, and Sony lacks arguments

Putting a quote here from the beginning of the adventure in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where Carl Johnson, the hero, has to steal a bicycle and get to his family’s property, would be most appropriate. None of us expected that Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard would take so long, and it would certainly cause a lot of speculation. It’s happening and I think it’s only going to happen in the coming weeks.

The squabbles between Microsoft and Sony, as well as the rants about who is best at “squelching unhealthy competition,” make the whole thing about Activision Blizzard’s absorption by the Redmond behemoth degenerate into a soap opera. However, it is coming to an end, because the most important offices that can accept the transaction have time to make a major decision until about the end of April. However, I believe that regardless of whether the creators of the Call of Duty series join the Xbox team or remain entirely on the multi-platform side, neither Microsoft nor Sony are nor will they be a good uncle.

Microsoft website

gears 5

Microsoft and Sony fighting with each other bring dirt from the past or present into the light of day, and also make many concessions. From the documents shared so far by both parties, we know that Xbox Game Pass severely limits (even words about breaking up pets) from selling first titles in B2P format (i.e. single player games), and Xbox doesn’t care too much about connecting gamers into a single community. , as can be inferred from the words of Phil Spencer, because the giant from Redmond is also trying its best in exclusive productions to encourage the purchase of green-flag consoles. A good example of this is Redfall, which, according to the developer responsible for the post, was canceled for Sony’s console after the Bethesda acquisition. The same thing would have happened to Starfield.

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Well, this isn’t the first time Phil Spencer has uttered words when he’s on camera. I perfectly remember the situation when Xbox swore that it would not raise the prices of consoles and games without following the path of competition. This was explained by the difficult situation in the world and inflation. This would be a great addition for the whole of Microsoft, if not for the fact that the Redmond giant finally raised the prices of said game to a new cap of $70 for high-budget productions. However, we can relate everything to a “dynamically changing market” (one of the most frequently asked questions by Phil Spencer, which could be the answer to all the tough questions), right?

Sony website

Days passed

At the same time, speaking of exclusivity, Microsoft does not understand one thing – when Sony knocked out most of the studios and made them a powerhouse after so many years (after all, Naughty Dog did not immediately start creating hits, which we wrote about here), so Xbox is trying to buy up the big giants and make the profits of their big brands also go to the account Company of Redmond. Xbox Game Studios has been on the market for more than 20 years, and someone like me, who closely monitors this initiative and the PlayStation teams, believes that perhaps Xbox Game Studios is being mismanaged, because it is impossible in recent years. Years ago, at least a dozen or so major teams couldn’t release a game as good as God of War or even Days Gone. The last game I insanely played from Microsoft was Gears 5. And that doesn’t just show how poorly the Xbox has fared in recent years, because the publisher wasn’t even considered in this year’s Most Outstanding Company list.

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Despite the fact that Sony spoils its customers more, this company, in turn, pays too much for exclusivity. While it is quite understandable that it will only be released on the PlayStation, and then on the PC platform, the results of PlayStation Studios (similar to Xbox Game Studios, but not associated with such giants as Bethesda or Activision Blizzard!), however, I am not a huge supporter of buying exclusive game from an “independent” studio. The book example is basically a Final Fantasy tag – neither Final Fantasy VII Remake nor Final Fantasy XVI will appear on Xbox, which isn’t a good gamble. Anyway, a lot of games on PS5 are being developed from teams completely unrelated to Sony, we can also mention Rise of the Ronin or Stellar Blade.

Closer to the end than the beginning

Call of duty modern warfare 2

The purchase of exclusive games by the Japanese company is of course intended to encourage the PS5, but due to the multiplicity of such contracts, Sony is starting to lack arguments to defend (because the fact that Microsoft may one day raise the price of Xbox Game Pass subscription cannot even be considered a middle-class argument) against Microsoft, which in my opinion is closer to acquiring Activision Blizzard. The Redmond giant thinks it’s the weak gamer due to the fact that it doesn’t excel at so-called exclusivity – and while I agree with that statement, since the company is worse at handling its own games (precisely because Xbox Games Studios didn’t deliver the expected stuff), it goes against With Phil Spencer’s general statements that titles for one platform are not good because they divide and limit society.

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Neither Sony nor Microsoft in this battle is the good uncle. After a few details from the documentation provided by, among other things, CMA I am disgusted with how much Sony is trying to cut off Xbox by signing temporary contracts or other contracts to supply games exclusive to the PlayStation platform. On the other hand, reading Spencer’s next interview and remembering the part where the developer of Redfall admits that the head of Xbox came to his studio and asked to cancel the PS5 version of the online shooter, I started to smile. But finally, the whole “telenovela” should actually end in the next calendar month.