Microsoft continues to convince industry regulators in a number of countries that a deal to buy Activion Blizzard would not harm competitors. Sony has previously claimed otherwise. Now Microsoft has accused a Japanese company of paying video game developers with the intention of disrupting the development of Game Pass.
This is described in a 27-page paper that Microsoft sent this week to the Brazilian Economic Protection Administration Board, which is one of the regulators studying the merger deal with Activion Blizzard. Recently, Sony claimed that the transfer of rights to the franchise Call of Duty to Microsoft would harm the entire game industry. Now Microsoft has moved on, accusing Sony of anti-competitive behaviour.
," says Microsoft's statement.
Microsoft's assertion that Sony pays developers not to go to Game Pass is bold, but seems to be well founded. The documents that became public during last year's Epic Games-Apple trial show that Sony pays developers to keep their games exclusive for the PlayStation platform for a certain period of time. During a previously defined period, developers are explicitly prohibited from publishing their games on , including Game Pass from Microsoft and Stadia from Google.
Given the ambiguity of the issue, it is difficult to imagine what verdict the Brazilian regulator will reach after examining the Microsoft purchase transaction of Activision Blizzard, while industry regulators from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and a number of other countries also did not say the final word.