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

        1. Benefits xbox and xbox player base, which is much more pro consumer. Just not Sony fan bois, which you sound a lot like one…

          Sony loves to be anti consumer as often as possible, from exclusives, timed exclusive content, overpriced gamepass copycats, etc.

          Not to mention Sony has to rent Microsoft severs when they started charging for online, to support their crappy infrastructure.

        2. False. Microsoft has grown the gaming market by releasing all of their games day one on PC and on Gamepass. Their games are the most widely available and easiest to play. Sony is the one making predatory third party timed exclusive deals that can last for as long as they want to re-up them. Sony is the one who makes their games exclusive to a single system that costs an arm and a leg for a normal person to purchase. Microsoft is the one growing cloud gaming which is going to be the largest growing market for gaming making it available for millions across the globe that only have access to a phone. Sony used their massive market lead and leveraged it into making profitable deals for third party exclusives and things like exclusive DLC in big games knowing Microsoft wouldn’t be able to make the same sort of deals without losing a ton of money. Sony forced Microsoft’s hand into creating the best deal in gaming with Gamepass and now they’re crying foul. I use to always get an Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation console but I will never buy a PlayStation again after this circus they have completely soured me with their bad faith arguments and hypocritical arguments. They’ve lost all credibility and have reduced themselves to making almost exclusively cinematic third person games and have lost sight of games of different genres such as FPS’s, it’s their fault they don’t have a competent competitor to Call of Duty – they killed off any franchises that weren’t “cinematic masterpieces” and it’s now biting them. Microsoft is finally fighting back and taking gaming seriously and they’re mad they can no longer push them around.

      2. May 1991 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. U.S. Microsoft acquired Bungie in 2000, and its project Halo: Combat Evolved was repurposed as a launch title for Microsoft’s Xbox console. –Wikipedia

        Microsoft bought Bungie and released Halo as an Xbox exclusive even before Sony acquired it’s first major studio (Bend Studio). They didn’t build those developers up, they bought them.

    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.

      1. No … it’s definitely YOU who is the moron. Sony bought developers and the games from those studios are exclusives. Only a drooling imbecile would think there’s some difference, simply because Microsoft bought developers later in the game. Sony are outselling Microsoft for one reason, and one reason alone: exclusives. Sony has them, but Microsoft doesn’t, so Microsoft are changing that. Sony knows it, so they’re making an idiotic argument to try to stop it. It’s disgusting and hypocritical, and everyone knows it. You score ZERO points, fanboy…

    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.

        1. This is fact. Morrowind on xbox original, 2003. Too many 12 year old Sony fans just crying on here.

    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.

    12. This is it. Sony’s exclusives were created from the ground up. Fully original works that would not exist without Sony having funded them. They added to the global library of content.

      Microsoft’s tactic here is not to create new works that add to anything, but to take control of works that already existed and then restrict access to them, this taking away from the global content library.

      Sony’s exclusives are a net gain for the market and encourage positive conpetition while Bethesda’s and Activision’s (under MS’s ownership) are a net loss for the market and will have negative effects on competition by encouraging what amounts to digital rent-seeking.

  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.

        1. Microsoft never said they’d make it exclusive, so quit tou complaining Sony fanboy. Honestly, after this, I hope they make sure CoD is on every platform except Sony, cause its exactly what they deserve.

        2. Another bullshit artist. So they made final fantasy 7 remake ha! Oh and many more. Gaystation lover

      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

      7. Not sure where you’re getting this 1% figure from but it’s likely be far more than that. Exclusives aren’t just important for the revenue they generate directly but for their ability to sell consoles. This is their primary value.

        If only one system has COD, that system will al.ost certainly be the #1 seller and the other system will likely tank, taking away countless dollars that would have been otherwise used to fund other games.

    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.

      1. None of those titles had the power to completely upset the competitive dynamic of the gaming industry as COD does.

    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.

      1. So, You’d be 100% happy with lightfall and all future content for Destiny being PS only? Because it honours all contracts?

    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.

    1. Bethesda announced Starfield as a multi-platform game and was even saying it would still be coming to PlayStation after they were first bought by Microsoft.

      Why do you feel the need to lie?

  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. The people comparing Sony’s purchased studios are laughable – do you know what the level of games those studios were making at the time of the purchase? Simple stuff. But Sony saw potential and invested in them. And they grew and put out quality because of Sony. And because of that good investment and relationship, Sony bought and them first party. Many many years later, you get Ragnarok. We would not HAVE Ragnarok at all if it wasn’t for Sony’s time and investment over many years.

    MS does not know how to invest or build devs. Their best and most important dev (Bungie) got pushed away and seemed to be happy to move to Sony. Without time or investment, MS is simply trying to buy the biggest devs in the room and say “haha mine”. They took games that WOULD exist regardless of them and prevented half the world from getting to play them so they could get all the profits.

    Does Sony buy studios? Yes, but that was AFTER years of development and investment, and those games wouldn’t exist without Sony. Starfield and COD would still exist even if MS and Xbox disappeared.

    You fools are trying to compare an investor that eventually internalizes their investments to a corporation that just flat out buys the competition. The two are nothing alike.

  16. Activision’s said they want Xbox to purchase them, and have also said some unfavorable things about Sony during this acquisition. If the acquisition fails, what position does that leave ABK in? Business as usual, act like nothing happened and carry on like normal? Activision could choose to partner with Xbox and leave Sony’s platform if they so choose. Likewise, Sony could make access to their platform a little less desirable towards ABK in spite.
    Maybe either scenario sounds ridiculous, but so does sabotaging the final level of a game a lot of us didn’t even realize had traditional levels to begin with.

  17. I don’t get this. Sony has never shown any favouritism or attention to Zenimax companies and IP (including Bethy, too).

    PlayStation players are generally split amongst a huge plethora of franchises and genres, so for most AAA and lesser titles their numbers are theoretically “diluted” and populations partially cannibalized (to wit, we tend to drop a game and move onto the next AAA release more than other consoles, bc we have more to choose from, and sometimes have to skip even first party titles).

    CoD is a rare exception because of its massive punching weight, ofc, but Elder Scrolls – and therefore Starfield – isn’t that calibre. Maybe on PC community where its quality, versatility and longevity potentially far outclasses the consoles, but not consoles. Maybe if you put Xbox and PS together they could throw down with the PC community’s power in this franchise.

    So basically, I assert that Sony is crying over a few drops of spilled milk that they helped spill tbw.

    1. Oops sorry forgot about Ghostwire Tokyo and Deathloop. Two titles that I remember being implied as multiplat when they were unveiled in 2019, and then revealed as snatched up for PS5 at some point in late 2020 or early 2021. And nobody whined about that.

    2. *potentially on PC community where the [Bethesda/Zenimax] franchises’ versatility (modability), longevity & quality (gfx/performance) far outclass that of the consoles’, but [Starfield’s brand power and community reach] wouldn’t be as strong on consoles.

  18. Okay Sony, so what about God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and the Last of Us these are just to name a few exclusives they have had! Oh and by the way Final Fantasy 16 being exclusive to Playstation 5 and not to mention as well the timed exclusivity with Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo! Damn Sony as a fan for quite some time you have officially lost me as a fan! So glad I made the switch to Xbox PC! Pretty pathetic that you are afraid of a little competition in the market..

  19. 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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