One of the juiciest legal assaults of recent times began. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and Microsoft They are deciding whether to temporarily halt the purchase of Activision Blizzard until the agency completes its administrative processes. Just yesterday the first preview took place and the show started.
A lot of very interesting data and details about the ins and outs of the video game industry came to light. Therefore, here we are going to compile all of them to have them clear and we will add those that appear in the next judicial meetings.
Xbox has lost the console war
Microsoft itself has conceded defeat. The company has seized on its supposed position as the industry’s third in contention to argue that owning Activision Blizzard would not allow them to elevate themselves to monopolistic company status. In addition, he has taken the opportunity to point out that Sony is the brand that completely dominates the console market worldwide, with Nintendo in second place.
Microsoft says Xbox “has lost the console war” ahead of today’s FTC case. Microsoft is eager to prove that Xbox is in third place. In addition, Microsoft reveals that Xbox has a 16% share of console sales in 2021 and 21% of the installed base of consoles.
Sony will ban Activision Blizzard from knowing information about PS6
Jim Ryan has taken to extremes the consequences of Bobby Kotick’s company becoming owned by Microsoft. The head of PlayStation has assured at the hearing that, if the agreement is closed, they will not provide information to Activision Blizzard about PS6. “We just couldn’t take the risk that a company that was owned by a direct competitor had access to that information“explains the manager.
Xbox Cloud Gaming has not been consolidated yet
If we think about the cloud gaming market, Microsoft appears as one of the leading companies in the sector. However, the company itself reveals that Xbox Cloud Gaming users “claim to use the service to try new games and decide whether to download them natively to playinstead of streaming them to play regularly.” That’s why it’s considered a nice addition rather than its own marketplace.
Jim Ryan acknowledged that Call of Duty will continue to be released on PlayStation
Microsoft’s lawyer delved into the wound and revealed that Sony actually admits internally that they have no problem with the issue of possible exclusivity of Call of Duty. “It’s not an exclusivity play at all. They’re thinking bigger than that and they have the money to make moves like this. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with [Phil] Spencer and Bobby [Kotick] and i’m pretty sure that we will continue to see Call of Duty on PlayStation for years to comerevealed an email between Jim Ryan and a former CEO of Sony.
Nintendo Switch plays in another league
Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, has noted that “graphics and assets will need to be fine-tuned to run Call of Duty on Nintendo platforms.” Or in other words, Nintendo Switch is not powerful enough enough to display the full graphic potential of the saga. At the same time, the FTC has repeatedly insisted that the Switch represents a different segment than “high-performance” Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Indiana Jones will be exclusive to Xbox
pete hines, responsible for publishing Bethesda globally, has been questioned by the FTC regarding the original agreement with Disney. Hines has indicated that said heading was renegotiated after the purchase of Bethesda and that now we will see it launch on Game Pass, along with the fact that be exclusive to Xbox and PC. This is how the executive explained the subject:
In my opinion, the main [motivo] is what I said about reducing risk and trying to get to a degree of safety
Also, you’re dealing with a license owner who’s going to get a lot of feedback about what you’re doing, so you have to add a huge amount of time to the deadlines.
Change of opinion of Xbox on its exclusives
An email from Matt Booty from 2019 noted that the head of Xbox Game Studios thought there was “no way in hell” that first-party Xbox exclusives should land on other platforms. Subsequently, in March 2021, Booty insisted that lBethesda games will be removed from Nvidia’s GeForce NOWwhich is striking, since Microsoft now has a 10-year agreement to bring its games to the streaming platform.
As collected from Axios, the judge has asked Booty why this change of opinion is due, to which the president has indicated that his team focused less on content as the key to future success. He himself has exemplified Disney’s ability to compete with Netflix, although the FTC’s lawyer did not stop there.
Booty questioned the detail that the Obsidian games, and other studios, will not reach PlayStation after the purchase of Bethesda -always talking about works that are being developed now-. Booty has indicated that the decision for The Outer Worlds 2 has not been made still.
Different income for Xbox
Despite the fact that all the judgment revolves around Activision Blizzard and the possible purchase by Microsoft, it does not seem that the Call of Duty deal has been very fair in recent years for Xbox. Sarah Bond, vice president of Xbox, indicated during the preview that a new agreement had to be reached with Bobby Kotick where the revenue sharing changed.
While the usual split is 70/30%, in the case of Xbox an 80/20% was agreed to maintain FPS on your systems. This is because “time was limited. We had players whose expectations we wanted to meet, so we finally made the decision that it was best for the business,” clarifies the president. The exact date of this deal is unknown, but it came as a result of talks between the two companies to bring Call of Duty to Xbox Series X/S. In addition, Microsoft refused to sign marketing agreements with the franchise, so it could not promote it in its digital store.
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