Activision and Sony bosses both dislike Xbox Game Pass

by Danny Craig  ·  Updated 
Activision and Sony bosses both dislike Xbox Game Pass

During the fourth day of the ongoing FTC v. Microsoft trial, both Sony’s Jim Ryan and Activision’s Bobby Kotick revealed that they are not the biggest fans of gaming subscription services, including Xbox’s popular Game Pass.

The details:

  • In a pre-recorded testimony, Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, stated that publishers dislike Game Pass because it is "value destructive," which follows his claim that the service is unprofitable for Microsoft, despite the tech giant previously stating that it is "very, very sustainable." The publishers in question are thought to be those at the very top, such as Electronic Arts (EA), Take-Two Interactive, and Ubisoft, all of whom are either almost certain to sell a large number of units or have their own service to put their games on.
  • Ryan appears to be correct to some extent, as when asked about gaming subscription services, Kotick admitted he isn't a fan of them, which is why only a handful of titles from Activision Blizzard's massive catalog have been featured on Game Pass. If Activision is acquired by Microsoft, the publisher's IPs will almost certainly be added to the service, regardless of Kotick's opinion, and he acknowledged this by saying that the two companies can "agree to disagree" about the situation.
  • Since its debut in 2017, the subscription service model has been questioned, as it provides players with access to hundreds of games, including brand-new Microsoft-published releases, for a lower monthly fee. Due to the low cost, some developers and publishers believe it cannibalizes game sales as more people use the service to try and even play through entire games for a fraction of the full price of a single title. Microsoft confirmed this in February, though ID@Xbox head Chris Charla later stated that Game Pass is "additive," not "disruptive," and that people's concerns are similar to those expressed when free-to-play games first gained popularity.

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