has more exclusive games than is the case, according to , which claims many of its rival’s first-party titles “are of better quality.” Lest you think Microsoft is diving into its own game studios for no reason, the company has made a claim to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is handling its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Although the filing is dated October 31, notes that the document has just been made publicly available.
“Sony is not only the dominant console vendor, but also a powerful game publisher,” Microsoft wrote in its response to the CMA. “Sony is about the size of Activision and nearly twice the size of Microsoft’s games publishing business.” The company added that “in 2021 there were over 280 first- and third-party exclusive titles on PlayStation, almost five times that many like on Xbox.”
Along with Sony’s own franchises — like The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, and Spider-Man — the company signs deals with third-party publishers for exclusive rights to games. Microsoft quotes Final Fantasy 7 Remake and bloodborne, as well as the coming one and as main titles that are not or will not be available on Xbox.
Console exclusives account for a higher percentage of global game sales for Sony than Microsoft, the latter claimed (Sony just announced it’s sold 5.1 million copies God of War Ragnarok in the game’s launch week). However, many Xbox gamers choose to access Microsoft’s exclusive products rather than purchase them outright — a point Microsoft doesn’t address when discussing the companies’ sales shares for their exclusive games.
In addition, Microsoft pointed out rating results for PlayStation and Xbox games. “The average Metacritic score for the top 20 Sony exclusive games of 2021 was 87/100 versus 80/100 for Xbox,” Microsoft claimed.
Microsoft is emphasizing these factors because game exclusivity and competition concerns are important considerations under review by regulators reviewing its proposed acquisition of Activision. From Sony’s perspective, one of the key sticking points of the Activision merger is the possibility that Microsoft will make the Call of Duty franchise (supposedly for PlayStation) exclusive to Xbox. It offered Sony a 10-year deal earlier this month to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Still, Microsoft claimed in the filing, “Sony, the leading console by more than a 2-to-1 margin, is unlikely to be shut out because it doesn’t have access to a single franchise.”
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer The edge‘s decoder Podcast last week that the Activision deal was primarily about acquiring mobile gaming giant King. Mobile “is a place where business will become unsustainable over time if we don’t gain relevance as a gaming brand,” Spencer said. (Xbox Cloud Gaming also runs on smartphones and tablets.)
Microsoft doubled down on the mobile side of the deal in its CMA filing. “As it stands, Xbox has no physical presence on mobile and its ability to reach gamers on mobile is hampered by the effective duopoly of Apple and Google in providing mobile app stores. The acquisition of Activision will bring mobile features and content to Xbox that it currently lacks, while creating new distribution options for game developers outside of mobile app stores.” stores and web browsers on mobile devices”.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has attempted to explain the meaning of the proposed . It claimed over the summer that despite being behind, Activision Blizzard stands behind the likes of Blizzard Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (what in 10 days), (35 million players in the first month), World of Warcraft and candy Crush Saga (since launch). Activision Blizzard games had last quarter. However, Blizzard risks losing millions of players in China if many of its games .
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