Microsoft Anti-Sony Strategy to “Spend Them Out of Business” - Comic Years
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Microsoft Anti-Sony Strategy to “Spend Them Out of Business”

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BY June 27, 2023

The Xbox vs. PlayStation rivalry is as old as the PS2 and Xbox. However, most of the aggression came from fans. Now, the rivalry might be a bit more serious than we thought. A Microsoft anti-Sony strategy was revealed during the FTC trial.

Recently, Xbox met in trial with the FTC to talk about the Activision purchase. Today, they revealed an internal email between Matt Booty and Tim Stuart. The Xbox Game Studios chief was encouraging Microsoft’s CFO. The reason was investing in sabotaging Sony’s advantages. So, that might be the reason Xbox Game Pass will increase.

So, what’s all that about?

Microsoft’s anti-Sony strategy justifies billions in losses

The aforementioned email tackled aggressive acquisition plans. This strategy drove Microsoft to consider buying Sega and Bungie. Moreover, the email said that spending up to #3 billion in 2020 would be worthwhile. And, that includes losses caused by the acquisition.

Microsoft’s plan comes with the realization that only Sony can compete with Xbox. Other video streaming services are far away. They mentioned Google being “3 to 4 years away” from having a gaming studio. And, Amazon has proven “no ability to execute” gaming content.

Therefore, only Sony can compete with Game Pass. That’s a field where Xbox already has an advantage. As such, investing in buying other developers would increase their catalog. That would drive said advantage further.

Microsoft’s strategy to prevent a “Disney of video games”

In the email, Microsoft’s anti-Sony strategy has another, larger goal. The email mentions Sony, Tencent, Google, and Amazon. And, those losses would be necessary to avoid them getting out of hand. They wish to prevent “the Disney of games,” owning the most valuable content.

Of course, I can get behind that idea to a limit. Disney’s near-monopoly on entertainment is evident. And, Tencent is taking steps toward that as well. Thus, yes, avoiding that outcome would be ideal.

Nevertheless, Microsoft is already an industry giant. Sure, they might have the capital to prevent those companies’ overgrowth. Yet, that would simply translate into Microsoft taking that place.

Naturally, I’m not a huge fan of that possibility.

Can Microsoft’s anti-Sony strategy endanger Activision purchase?

Naturally, this will likely play a huge role in the Activision case. Firstly, it paints a malicious picture of the reasoning behind it. That would negate Microsoft’s claims that they don’t wish to sabotage Sony.

Then, that would topple Microsoft’s main defense. After all, they keep claiming to keep Activision’s titles available to PlayStation. This adds to Starfield becoming a launch exclusive later in development.

Also, we could argue that it’s fine as a plan to boost Game Pass. The issue comes with the explicitly anti-Sony idea. That could become a central problem for Microsoft moving forward. Microsoft did argue that the email is years old. Plus, they write off the strategy as something they never pursued. But, it definitely plants a seed.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.



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