Sony, A Company With Exclusives, Is Concerned About Starfield Being An Xbox Exclusive

Sony is mad about Starfield being Xbox Exclusive

Sony’s fight against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues to see the Japanese company levy complaints against its primary console rival. The latest criticism from Sony comes against Starfield — and other Bethesda games — being Xbox console exclusive.

In recent statements made to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, Sony says that Microsoft shouldn’t be trusted when it says it would make sure Activision Blizzard games like Call of Duty would remain on competing platforms. Sony specifically referenced past Microsoft comments regarding Bethesda games after the Redmond, WA-based organization said that it would “not have the incentive” to limit the studio’s games from other platforms.

Sony’s Main Argument About Starfield On Xbox

“Microsoft also publicly stated to investors that ‘we highly encourage cross-platform play [because] if it’s good for the gaming ecosystem, it’s good for us…[w]e don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of [competitor platforms]’,” the statement reads.

It continues: “But soon after the acquisition closed, Xbox’s head Phil Spencer revealed that, all along, the deal was about “delivering great exclusive games” for Xbox. Mr. Spencer later confirmed that the upcoming releases of two of Bethesda’s most popular titles, Starfield and Elder Scrolls, would be Xbox exclusives.”

Sony goes on to say that Microsoft’s attempt to purchase Activision Blizzard should “be prohibited or subject to a structural remedy”. The company adds that it is “extremely skeptical” that any agreement with Microsoft could be reached, monitored, and enforced.

Sony is concerned that Microsoft could increase the price of Call of Duty and other titles, forcing games to not be offered at all. Also, they believe Microsoft-focused incentives to see consumers choose to play games on Xbox instead of PlayStation.

There are a number of other arguments Sony makes in the 13-page document. One of which states that a deal with Microsoft for games would “commercially destroy SIE’s (Sony Interactive Entertainment’s MGS (multi-game subscription) business model”. The actual payment Sony says Microsoft proposed for an agreement was redacted from the released document.

What do you think of Sony’s latest complaints about Starfield being exclusive to Xbox?

Want more Insider Gaming? Check out our story on the FTC fining Epic Games $245 million.

  1. I mean, the difference here is that Sony makes most of those exclusives. Microsoft simply bought previously multiplatform developers and made them single platform.

    1. Sony “make” Final Fantasy? Bloodborne? Silent Hill? How many Square Enix, Konami, or From Software games (among others) have Sony prevented from coming to other platforms with exclusivity deals?

      Haven’t Sony even parcelled off DLC and little bits of games (Call of Duty among them) and kept those from other platforms?

      And Sony acquired the likes of Naughty Dog too…they didn’t build those developers up. They bought them. In fact they’ve bought 8 studios over the last year and a bit.

      Let’s face it; Sony and their fans love exclusivity when it benefits them. But if Microsoft play that same tune, everyone is finding a way to try And make it sound different. It isn’t.

      1. Sony has never shrunk the market though. Microsoft did. Sony exclusives do benefit Sony, but Microsoft buying Bethesda and making all their content exclusive to Xbox benefits nobody. If they had purchased the studio and kept the big IPs multiplatform that would have been fine, like when Sony bought Bungie. But Microsoft is forcibly shrinking the market instead of creating new studios to make exclusive content. It’s completely different

    2. I hate this dumb argument. Its just moving goal posts. You guys act like Sony grew every one of their developers from the ground up. Almost all of them were bought at some point in time long after the studio was already developing games. In any case you know damn well if Sony had the money they’d have bought AB a long time ago and every last one of their games would be ps exclusive. MS was the first to put their games on PC, the first to offer games to Nintendo and Nvidia. Sony is direct competition so obviously they’re not going to be as sharing with them especially with how stingy Sony is towards Xbox. 10 years for cod is far more than they deserve

    3. A Lot of Sony exclusives have been through purchasing studios case in point Naughty dog and Insomniac they bought them then original IPs came after.

    4. We can all tell whose side your on just by the headline. Sony developed first party studios and IPs. Microsoft bought a different company, claimed it wasn’t going to make previously announced multiplatform games exclusive, and then did exactly that. It’s a false equivalence fallacy. You’re a moron and you should feel bad.

    5. Except that Sony doesn’t actually make most of its exclusives, they are still studios that Sony obtained years ago. I fail to see the difference.

    6. Sony bought all its now first party studios. Example Bend studio, Bluepoint games, Fabrik games,Firesprite, Gorilla Games, Haven Studio, Housemarque, Insomniac, Londan Studio, Media Molecule, Naughty Dog, Pixelopus, Polyphony Digital, San Diego studio, San Mateo studio, Santa Monica studio, Savage Games studio, Sucker Punch, Team Asobi, Valkyrie Entertainment, Xdev, and fucking Bunjie. ALL bought and all exclusives. Just because Microsoft is now buying stuff doesnt mean shit. Guess what they are now first party studios same as Sony only difference is Sony and you are crying. At least Microsoft has and had kept stuff on playstation, something Sony has not done for Microsoft. They say Microsoft is trying to make it so people play on Xbox but that is the business and Sony has been on top for over 2 decades. So kindly go fuck yourself.

    7. Like how Sony bought Bungie? They’re pretty hypocritical. Nobody’s an angel here.

    8. I assume you were similarly opposed to Sony buying Insomniac and making Spider-Man PS exclusive? And I’m sure Jim Ryan will keep Haven Studios and Bungie’s future games multiplatform, right? He wouldn’t be a hypocrite and do exactly what he’s criticising Xbox for doing, right?

    9. Starfield can be an Xbox exclusive as is a new game ip but Elder Scrolls should stay multi platform since it has always been multi platform.

      1. Elder Scrolls has not always been multiplatform. The first ES game to release on PlayStation was Oblivion and it came like 2 years late on PlayStation, they weren’t sure whether to release it at all. Bethesda had always been close to Xbox because their first entry into consoles was with the original Xbox.

    10. Holding the Spiderman IP hostage, Final Fantasy 7 remakes and now Final Fantasy 16. Sony swipes up exclusives as much as they can. They would be buying out studios too if they were as big as microsoft. And microsoft games are at least on pc which Sony is only now giving us ports for years old games.

    11. Technically Microsoft owns Bethesda, so they don’t have to make a game cross platform if they don’t want to. If Sony has such a big deal about it, then make games like FF7 remake, FF16, God of War or Spiderman cross platform. If they’re not gonna do that, then they can just quit complaining.

  2. The problem is not with them making a game exclusive. Microsoft has their own ‘exclusives’ and they haven’t batted an eye. The problem was Microsoft buying out a whole ass studio that had a long running history of launching their world famous games on all platforms and making them exclusive. Which is exactly what they fear will happen with the Activision deal, despite assurances. It’s a completely valid fear.

    There is nothing wrong with first party exclusives. Nintendo is famous for them. Sony has theirs. Microsoft has some but kind of suck at it. But Microsoft is spending boatloads of money to force exclusivity to get games to appear on the Game Pass. I’d be worried if I was Sony too. Despite having a large share of the console market, Sony isn’t nearly as large a company as Microsoft.

    1. This is complete nonsense. If Sony goes under because they loose less than 1% of their revenue on one third party title then that is a reflection on Sony, not Xbox acquiring Activision.

      1. “we don’t have intentions of just pulling (all) Bethesda games off of other platforms”. Key word is all. They never even implied new releases would come to playstation. It’s obvious they meant all existing games would remain and they would continue to support them thus why they said they don’t intend on pulling all off. As far as AB goes they’ve offered Sony ten years of cod and theyve refused and continued dragging this out. Sony is constantly projecting, taking about ms raising prices which is what Sony has been the one to do. Why would ms suddenly increase cod to 80$ when it’s already 70. Makes no sense. Sony is simply trying to block this any way they can. It’s not about cod which has been offered for way longer than Sony even deserves considering MS is the one paying 70 billion for the publisher. Sony isn’t paying shit so why should they feel entitled to anything.

      2. No what’s nonsense is that you think that buying up world class studios is a good idea. When has a larger corporation buying up a smaller company EVER worked out for the consumers. Especially when it comes to tech.

      3. Yet another MS Corp lover. What you just replied was nonsense. Sony and Nintendo Make thier exclusives. MS is trying to buy a multi plat and make it exclusive. What part of this fact angers your bot tribe so much that you need to schill for the 2nd largest company in the world??? Your 1 percent mumbo jumbo is made up Bobby kotic nonsense. MS is wrong. Your hate Sony PR campaign lacks merit and honesty. Sony and Nintendo are winning bc of thier actions..not thier pockets.

      4. You obviously have no idea how big call of duty is. Call of duty is in the league of its own when it comes to a gaming platform. Even the worst call of duty out sells most games. Call of duty makes a ridiculous amount of money and Microsoft wants to make that ridiculous amount of money exclusively theirs.

      5. You’re speaking ignorantly. You have to look at the share that Call of Duty has between platforms and players alike. Call fo Duty isn’t just a single game, it’s THE game. For some, not being able to play Call of Duty on Playstation would force them to swap platforms and purchase an Xbox instead, just so they can continue playing the game they enjoy the most. Microsoft was built from money. They never really created anything. The ideas were purchased from someone else and they have the money to do it. It’s crap but that’s just how it is. Just doesn’t make it okay. However, Sony will pull through.

        1. Lmaooo Microsoft never created anything?? Look at this simp Sony pony here, like Microsoft didn’t create Xbox live which changed the game guess who copied and follow suit lmao Sony, gamepass boom Sony all along “not worth it subscription service won’t work”look at them now lmao let’s not forget them using Azure cloud for anything that is to do with streaming broke ass Sony can’t hang and ya just mad lmao

      6. Nothing about what you said was accurate.

        It’s lose not loose.
        PlayStation accounts for a lil more than 1/3 of their profits.
        He never said Sony was going to go under.

        1. So why didnt Sony agree to the 10 year deal for Call Of Duty, or is his just a ploy to get them to break it up so Sony swoops in and buys the IP like they are doing with Destiny, 5 bucks says Destiny 3 will be Sony exclusive

    2. And why is that a problem? It is like saying a sports player can’t play on another team because it has a history with team X. Also completely hypocritical from Sony, but you guys like to pretend Naughty Dog and Insomniac weren’t third party before(both Crash Bandicoot and Spyro were published by Universal studios)

    3. What and God of War and the Last of Us aren’t world famous from Naughty Dog studios and Santa Monica studios (not Sony)?

      Sony had also bought out Studios of recent and nobody cares. Let’s not pretend any other IPs from Bungie won’t be Playstation exclusive. I’ve not seen an argument in Playstation’s favor that makes any sense.

    4. Who’s “forcing exclusivity”? Microsoft honor all existing Bethesda contacts with Sony. How many multiplatform games have insomniac released since being acquired by Sony?

      Xbox isn’t obligated to release new games–and especially new IP like starfield–on PS, just as Sony isn’t obligated to release Spider-Man on Xbox. Xbox, and certainly Microsoft are no saints. There’s plenty of valid criticism to throw at them, and same goes for Sony. Pretending either company is a victim is nothing more than childish console wars nonsense.

    5. You do realize that most first party studios are first party studios bc the company bought them right. Sony started off by buying companies like psygnosis back in the 90s. They needed companies to get their foot in the door to compete with Nintendo and Sega. Naughty dog, insomniac and guerilla games are all purchased by Sony. They didn’t just pop out of Sony’s womb. They also pay companies to keep games off of other platforms called exclusivity clauses.

  3. Hypocrital, Sony has hundreds of studios to pull exclusives from. If they’re so scared of Microsoft making a few games exclusive maybe they should all their studios to release multi-platform instead.

  4. Yet another MS Corp lover. What you just replied was nonsense. Sony and Nintendo Make thier exclusives. MS is trying to buy a multi plat and make it exclusive. What part of this fact angers your bot tribe so much that you need to schill for the 2nd largest company in the world??? Your 1 percent mumbo jumbo is made up Bobby kotic nonsense. MS is wrong. Your hate Sony PR campaign lacks merit and honesty. Sony and Nintendo are winning bc of thier actions..not thier pockets.

    1. Final Fantasy was multiplatform for years and Sony is taking that away with FF16. That’s just one example and I’m sure there’s more. Worse is Sony treating non PS users as second class citizens by bribing devs to make exclusive PS content on multiplatform games. There were weapons in Destiny 2 I never got because I only played on Xbox and PC. Hogwarts legacy literally has a PS only quest. I don’t love MS but I do HATE paying the same price for a game as people on other platforms and not getting the same content. MS may be a holes but Sony isn’t innocent either.

  5. I’ve seen a couple of you say that Sony makes their own exclusives and Microsoft is just buying studios and making those games exclusive. What about when Sony drops money on exclusivity for Final Fantasy games or when they pay for an exclusive like Death Stranding? They may not have bought those studios but they did buy those games. They didn’t make them. Or what about when Sony bought Bungie? A company that was owned by Microsoft, then by Activision, then they went independent. Now Sony owns them and while their flagship game Destiny 2 is on available on both, what about future releases? Sony has done essentially the same thing but they get a pass because they aren’t big, scary Microsoft.

  6. Microsoft and Bethesda never agreed to starfield being cross platform. Hinging this entire argument on one game is absurd at face value. One game does not mean Bethesda is not going to continue to release established cross platform IP’s as cross platform games. As far as Elder scrolls 6, we don’t even know when it’s going to drop for crying out loud. And while that series has been popular in the past, it is nowhere near the levels of Call of Duty. So it wouldn’t even make sense from a business standpoint for Activision to not put out cross platform, if they want the profit stream to continue. I can’t see Activision (as greedy as they are) agreeing to any sort of deal that cuts millions off their profits. Don’t is throwing everything including the sink at the wall, hoping something will stick because they simply don’t want to face competition. To complain about Microsoft purchasing Activision ignores that Sont has done the same thing with high profile developers like Naughty Dog, Guerilla+Games, Sucker Punch, Insomniac, Bungee, Firewalk studios, and Haven. Sony arguing against acquisitions and then making games exclusive while doing exactly the same thing is literally pot calling kettle black. Sony is nothing more than a whiny anti consumer company hell bent on obtaining a monopoly on the markets. And their arguments show that in crystal clear format.

  7. This is such a stupid article. I know everyone is focused on CoD but there are many other games under the publisher. Microsoft also has exclusives. The problem is that they are taking games that have been multi platform and making them exclusive all while saying they would have no reason to do so. If Sony has such a large share of the market why would you not release Starfield to the “majority”. You just don’t like selling games? No you make it exclusive to try and further your own company. How are this many people so oblivious?

    1. Cause Sony has done the same thing with other games from studios they don’t own, like final fantasy and Death Stranding. Microsoft owns Bethesda so they don’t have to make the game cross platform of they don’t want to. Clearly you’re the own who doesn’t understand anything.

  8. Sony is a bunch of crybabies…. I don’t see them making their exclusives cross platform. Get this thing done already.

  9. Here’s a question: If the MS/ABK merger is blocked, what will keep Microsoft from simply purchasing Call Of Duty and making it an Xbox / PC exclusive?
    According to revealed documents, the current arrangement between Activision and Sony regarding COD expires in 2024. At that point, Activision will be free to do whatever they want with the franchise, including not allowing it on any current (or future) Playstation platform. This means that, in 2024, Activision could actually tell Sony to kick rocks and take a hike as far as Call Of Duty is concerned…..and Sony wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Needless to say, it’s not hard to imagine that Microsoft would be waiting with open arms (and an open checkbook), willing to pay Activision whatever price they require to guarantee that Call Of Duty will be an Xbox / PC exclusive for the next 10 years, at least!

  10. Why don’t Sony and Microsoft just trade game for game. Microsoft let’s Starfield be a cross platform and Sony let’s God of War be a cross platform. I would like to play God of War without buying a Ps5

  11. My special edition custom Final Fantasy xbox one that came with FFXV deluxe in the steel box case forced to buy a ps5 because FF7R and FFXVI will never appear on a Microsoft platform due to a shady contract explicitly stating so, is the only counter argument I’ll ever need to this.

    Make successful franchise, take it away, make it exclusive. Sony is getting a taste of its own medicine and I hope its the grape flavor

  12. So….sony, who has more exclusives then the other platforms put together, is complaining that it won’t be fair to them if microsoft has more exclusives? Block the Microsoft deal, but while doing so also make it that sony microsoft and nintendo can longer have exclusives without paying some kind of compensation to the other companies. See how quick sony changes their tune then.

  13. How about Spiderman? They bought a whole character and kept it exclusive. Wouldn’t even allow him to be in Avengers game unless you played PS version. Both company execlusives are from devs they bought. For sony to say microsoft would hike prices and then no one would buy games is funny. They think this is the end of gaming completely if it goes through and they’re the hero trying to save the world!

  14. Sony really threatened to lose 1% of market share when they are the market leader. Quite pathetic if you ask me.

  15. It is so sad that these people are too poor to buy more than one console. If you prefer Sony, buy the PS5 and buy an Xbox 5 years later if there is any exclusive in that that interests you. You just need to save 9 bucks a month to achieve this. But yeah, the exclusive game was a thing since there was more than one videogame system. No sense crying about it.

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