Activision Blizzard: Does Sony Have to Disclose Xbox Game Pass Lockdown Contracts?

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Viewing PlayStation documents could also reveal third-party lockdown agreements for Xbox Game Pass.

Subscribers are generally happy when new titles end up in Xbox Game Pass and can be played for a small fee.

Sony, on the other hand, doesn’t like it at all. People don’t like it when games are included in an offer that you have to pay extra for on PlayStation.

For games on PlayStation, Sony therefore concludes some exclusive agreements with developers and publishers that are intended to prevent a game from being offered in Xbox Game Pass.

These exclusive “lockdown” contracts Sony may need to disclose to authorities and Microsoft, how kotaku supposed. They could mark an important decision on the question of whether the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

A request from Microsoft to see the details of Sony’s exclusive PlayStation deals has already been granted by D. Michael Chappell, the FTC’s chief administrative judge, as we reported this week.

The judge summarizes Microsoft’s claims as follows:

“Microsoft argues that the complaint in this case makes a series of allegations of exclusivity agreements between developers of high-performance video game consoles and video game publishers. Microsoft states that it is aware that SIE requires many third-party providers to agree to exclusivity terms, including preventing the providers from posting their games on the Xbox Multi-Game Subscription Service, and that it is aware of the full scope of SIE’s exclusivity agreements and its impact on the industry’s competitiveness will be helpful in his defence.”

According to the judge, the “nature and scope of SIE’s licensing agreements are relevant to the complaint’s allegations of exclusivity agreements between video game console developers and video game developers and publishers.”

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The only partial victory for Sony was that you don’t have to disclose contracts from the last ten years, as Microsoft requires, but only from 2019 to the present.

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