PlayStation had five times more exclusive games during 2021 than Xbox… and of better quality. Microsoft belittles itself in its defense to the CMA, even comparing the median ratings of Sony and Microsoft on Metacritic.
Sony and Microsoft are locked in a dialectical duel, trying to eat the ear of the CMA (United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority) that is looking closely at Activision Blizzard’s purchase proposal… and could truncate Microsoft’s plans.
Today documents from both Sony and Microsoft have been declassified in which they present their case to the commission. Sony’s intention is to show that, if Microsoft buys Activisionwould have complete control over a saga as critical as Call of Duty, which could irreparably damage PlayStation.
Microsoft, in their defense, wants to make them see that Call of Duty… well, it’s not that bad. His defense includes many arguments from why Call of Duty is not as important as Sony wants to make you seealluding from his low scores on Metacritic, his little presence on social networks or that the income and activity of Call of Duty on PlayStation are “limited” (alluding to data that is still classified).
But the most striking thing is when Microsoft has to make regulators see that it is not a dominant publisher, but rather Sony surpasses them in practically everything… including the quantity and quality of their games.
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Microsoft defends that PlayStation has more games… and better
Microsoft has revealed a very revealing fact: in 2021, there were almost five times more exclusive games on PlayStation consoles than on Xbox. In all, Sony’s consoles had 280 exclusive gamesboth third party and first party.
Microsoft even mentions the pompous “virtuous circle” which Jim Ryan, CEO of PlayStation, referred to last summer when talking about his pace of game development.
They do not stop there: in that very 111 page document have said verbatim that “Sony has more exclusive games than Microsoft, many of which are of higher quality“. It is not just a casual appreciation: they allude to “objective” data, that is, Metacritic:
“Both Sony’s and Nintendo’s own exclusive games are among the best sellers in Europe and around the world. Sony’s current exclusive content includes notable first-party titles like The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War and Spiderman.“.
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“Sony’s exclusive content is not only more successful than Microsoft’s, but also receives top ratings from industry experts: Metacritic’s median score for the top 20 games for exclusives in 2021 was 87/100, versus 80/100 for Xbox.”
Microsoft notes that many of those PlayStation-exclusive games are from third party studios, in exclusivity deals for Sony that therefore exclude Xbox. The examples they mention are Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix), Bloodborne (From Software), Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix) or the next Silent Hill 2 (Bloober team).
Microsoft has also touched many other sticks, such as justifying the exclusivity of Starfield on Xbox and why this is different from the case of Call of Duty or Minecraft. Saga that, by the way, they plan to leave on PlayStation for 10 years (instead of 3) in a new deal that was presented to Sony after that these documents were written.