Microsoft and Sony have both been trading barbs over the last few months, as Microsoft’s massive acquisition of Activision-Blizzard inches toward completion.
Sony’s main argument against the deal has been Microsoft’s “intentions” to make series like Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox. However, in response, Microsoft has cited Sony’s aggressive approach to exclusives, saying the company had paid for “blocking rights” to keep certain titles off of Xbox.
Now, Microsoft has specified which titles it meant in a lengthy statement to the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) in the UK. As spotted by @KoreaXboxNews on Twitter, Microsoft states
“In addition to having outright content, Sony has also entered into arrangements with third-party publishers which require the ‘exclusion’ of Xbox from the set of platforms these publishers can distribute their games on. Some prominent examples of these agreements include Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix), Bloodborne (From Software), the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix), and the recently announced Silent Hill 2 remastered (Bloober Team).”
There had obviously been speculation before, but it’s interesting to see Microsoft flat-out say which games Sony has paid for the rights to. Sadly, this also seems to mean that Xbox players shouldn’t expect to play Final Fantasy VII Remake anytime soon, as that game’s “timed exclusivity” apparently only applied to PlayStation and PC.
What’s especially interesting about this is how murky it makes Sony’s exclusivity deals. At this point, it’s hard to tell which games are able to come to other consoles and which aren’t, especially when Sony uses the “timed exclusive” moniker for everything. Games like Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo come to Xbox after one year, but seemingly games like Final Fantasy XVI won’t ever be released on other consoles.
Despite Sony and Microsoft calling each other out, it’s unlikely that things will change on either side, especially as the Activision-Blizzard acquisition gets nearer to completion.