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Phil Spencer Responds to Activision Acquisition concerns from UK watchdog "choice is crucial for players moving forward"

SlimySnake

Member
Again, it's about precedent and how that can indicate what is likely to occur. And the Bethesda deal gives a very real precedent that regulators will take seriously because immediately as that deal went through, they went ahead and announced they were removing content and thus choice from gamers by not releasing future Bethesda games on PS or Nintendo platforms.
Making Starfield exclusive especially after being non-commital before the deal was closed just fucked them over good. Had they kept it mutiplatform, they wouldve had a case. What a hilarious own goal that turned out to be.
 
Everything Phil says makes it sound like they would rather just be a multiplatform publisher. If you want everyone to have access to your games, thats how you do it. What they are currently doing, is actually giving less choice, not more. We have less choice in where we play Bethesda games in the future than we did before Microsoft acquired them.
 
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oldergamer

Gold Member
This is a naive take on the situation. You are making several assumptions here that simply dont need to be made. 1) Sony has a monopoly. Monopoly in what? Good games? Maybe. But if Sony had a monopoly, the top 20 biggest games of last year would all be exclusive. Instead only 1 of them was a PS exclusive. Miles. The rest are all multiplatform. Even MLB The show now. Even first party stuff like Ratchet and Returnal were MIA. Their revenues arent that far apart. $25 vs $15 billion in 2020 with Nintendo around $17 billion. If anything Nintendo has a monopoly in the handheld market.

2) Sony is running away with the console market unopposed is ridiculous. How are they doing this? They dont have the most powerful console. Havent had one since 2017. Thats 5 years. They didnt have CoD, RDR2, Witcher 3, MGSV, Destiny, Battlefield, Madden, Fifa, Ass Creed or any of the other big F2P shooters that were exclusive. FF7 is literally their only big third party exclusive. So how are they being allowed to run away with the console market unopposed? Since FF7 is the only big game they bought in the 7 years of the PS5 gen, why couldnt MS afford to outbid them? Especially after spending $3.5 billion on Minecraft and acquiring 5 studios in 2018? Why did MS let themselves get outbid for FF16 when they had $7.5 billion to spend on Zenimax?

Again, unopposed? MS has been there with them acquiring more studios in the PS4x1 era and thus buying more AAA exclusives. Sony locked up the biggest JRPG? MS literally bought THE biggest RPG creator.

Buying exclusives is not a new thing. MS started the whole timed DLC bs with CoD in the 360 gen. Sony continued until both dropped it later last gen. Nintendo, Sega and Sony have been buying up third party exclusives since the 90s. It's always been part of the 'game'. Bungie was literally a third party studio before MS bought it in 2000. Doom 3, Half Life, Mass Effect, Bioshock all MS exclusives. It's just what things have always been like.

Whats changed this gen is that MS for whatever reason got sick of being outbid by sony for shit games like Deathpoop, Ghostwire, Foreskin and Godfail. And Im sorry, that should have been a blessing. None of these games even entered the top 20. It's a waste of money for Sony. MS shouldve saved up and went to war against them for FF16. Just like Peter Moore did with GTA4 and FF13. Phil didnt. Instead Phil spent almost $8 billion on Zenimax. Why? $8 billion went you cant spend a $100 million topping Sonys offer?

Why $70 billion when you can simply pay $200-400 million for COD on gamepass every year. If this is about choice, pay up. This is not about choice. It's about limiting choice. I was wondering all of this year and last year why big games like Battlefield, RE8, Guardians of the Galaxy and Elden Rings were not on gamepass. Why is Harry Potter not on gamepass? MS is making $250 million a month from gamepass. $3 billion a year and they cant afford one big AAA game? Of course they can. But its not about choice. Its not about giving gamepass and xbox users more value. It's about putting Sony out of business or put Gamepass on Playstation and the best way to do that is by buying up entire publishers that make the best most popular WRPGs and most popular shooters.

It's for leverage. Not for consumer choice. Everyone sees this. There is nothing wrong with it. It's a big dick move. 'I bought the fucking airline, bitch.' A pro chess move, but lets stop trying to pretend its a pro consumer move. Everyone knows why MS is spending almost a hundred billion when they couldve just spend a few hundred million to match Sonys offers. Sony preventing games to go on gamepass? How? By paying money. Then pay more than Sony. You can afford to, clearly. You have $80 billion in the war chest.

I dont wish for the COD purchase to go through, but it will. I dont see why the govt regulatory bodies that approve the Time Warner and AT&T merger would deny this. Corps always get what they want. But lets not pretend this is a pro-consumer move like Phil is trying to paint it out to be. Thats just naive.
Your post contains lots of garbage takes that I won't bother responding to. First, I said "NEARLY have a monopoly". Not that they "do" have one.

Second does sony rely only on making good games to retain thier popularity? NO, they routinely spend money to prevent games from hitting other consoles, being available on other services, or simply put, only available on playstation. If Sony ONLY made good games as you suggest, why would they need to pay to block certain games from releasing on gamepass? Nintendo has a bigger monopoly on good games compared to sony imo.

Third, They don't need to have the top selling games or the fastest hardware to be the market leader.
 
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ReBurn

Gold Member
You dont spend $70 billion to keep CoD multiplatform.
Yes, you do. Why would you spend $70 billion to then turn around and eliminate the billions in revenue that PlayStation generates? It's clear that the play here is set up the contrast that if you want to play somewhere else that's cool. Pay your $70 plus DLC/Season Pass fees and play. Or you could subscribe to Gamepass and play this and many other games on day 1 for less money overall.

This is a play to make consumers feel like the way games have been delivered in the past is antiquated and to make Sony look like the biggest fossil holding on to the past by sticking with the old ways of content delivery. It would be crazy for Microsoft to dismiss an opportunity like this by closing Call of Duty off from PlayStation. Besides, they left Minecraft on other systems. There's no reason to turn off a cash generator of this scale.
 
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M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
I don't think there is any use to lock those games on one ecosystem. If one is 80EUR purchase and second one is playable with 15 bucks/month subscription, you know where a lot of players interested in those games go...
 

phil_t98

Member
I find it funny that a lot of posters you see in the COD threads say how trash the game is and now they are in a lot of threads stating how important COD is
 
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adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Some really dense takes in this thread.

Agreed.

Everything Phil says makes it sound like they would rather just be a multiplatform publisher. If you want everyone to have access to your games, thats how you do it. What they are currently doing, is actually giving less choice, not more. We have less choice in where we play Bethesda games in the future than we did before Microsoft acquired them.

This is unequivocally false. Just look at Bethesda's last 2 big releases. They are locked to the PS5 console platform for an uncertain amount of time. With MS, the likelihood of those games being on more consoles is higher than it was under Sony's deals. Not to mention other ancillary platforms like Xcloud.
 
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Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Oh sure, after Skyrim, Fallout 4, Doom reboot, etc… sold gang busters on consoles and PlayStations too, Starfield and TES VI were not already in development for PS4 (and PS5). This would be delusional, I do not think you even believe that (but it would be quite biased if you).

Considering how many Bethesda games didn't start out with console development in mind until later, you seem to not have the history right. Starfield's reactions can easily be looked up when people were upset about how they were unusually evasive about talking console releases.

Plus, based on that last unfinished demonstration that clearly wasn't ready, it's even less likely Starfield was being made with console in mind, likely for PC first, which isn't unusual for Bethesda stuff.
 

GHG

Member

Lance Reddick Reaction GIF by CBS
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member

It's the "several" part regulators will be concerned about that he should have omitted form the letter, if the letter is real.

But if the US is fine with the acquisition they can go over UK anyway. I doubt MS would have gone for this acquisition if they didn't already have an idea it would be approved. Though this won't help things.
 

yurinka

Member
He did not clearly state that at all. That's what he wants people to think he said, and I guess it worked on you.
Yes, he said that:

He, MS and ABK never said that they plan to make CoD exclusive. The opposite: they said several times that they'll keep CoD on PS and sometimes did use Minecraft (whose all post acquisition games have been released on PS and Switch day one). If you think I'm wrong, please provide a quote of them saying they'll make CoD exclusive.
 
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sainraja

Member
Even if COD is made exclusively to Xbox, so what? Are exclusives suddenly a bad thing now? Haven't console manufactures been doing this for decades by this point? Sony also literally just bought out Bungie, how is that different?
Bungie is going to continue operating the way that they have been. Bungie controls where/how their games are published and they have stated they will publish on all platforms.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
Yes, he said that:

And he, MS and ABK never said that they plan to make CoD exclusive. If you think I'm wrong, provide a quote of them saying they'll make CoD exclusive.

That doesn't say they're gonna "keep releasing COD games on PlayStation". There are several ways to interpret it, that being one, but they have never unambiguously stated that. If they wanted to be very clear about it they could, but they obviously don't want to do that.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
I find it funny that a lot of posters you see in the COD threads say how trash the game is and now they are in a lot of threads stating how important COD is
CoD the game - some people think it’s trash.

FIFA the game - is trash.

The hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue they generate for PlayStation annually benefits every single PlayStation user.

Hopefully you can understand now why it can be both trash and important at the same time.
 

sainraja

Member
Sure, it's totally a matter of scale. But Bungie is hardly the only company Sony has bought recently and from all accounts certainly won't be the last.
I don't think that matters or should matter given Microsoft has also bought many studios recently (e.g. Ninja Theory + others) ALONG with two publishers. If you dislike one company for doing it, then that should still apply for the other, the one that you like.

Besides buying companies is only part of the picture. What about the numerous Sony exclusives Sony has paid for over the past number of years? Just because Sony hasn't bought these companies out doesn't mean much when the outcome is the same for the average consumer.
You must have been a X360 gamer during that generation. Microsoft did the same thing by paying for exclusives/content. Sony had to invest internally during that generation.
 
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phil_t98

Member
CoD the game - some people think it’s trash.

FIFA the game - is trash.

The hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue they generate for PlayStation annually benefits every single PlayStation user.

Hopefully you can understand now why it can be both trash and important at the same time.

Yeah coarse it’s just the usual people who constantly bash the game showing concern, it is the biggest selling game most years of coarse.
 

yurinka

Member
Sony is a market leader and for 3 of 4 last generations and they have nearly had a monopoly. Only time they stumbled was when releasing a overly expensive console.
Sony is a market leader in consoles or game subs but doesn't have a monopoly: according to them PS4 had around 45% of market share and have as goal/estimate that with PS5 they'll grow and achieve around 55%.

In the general gaming market they are 2nd and generate around 25B of yearly revenue and the industry makes around 200B per year. This is around 12% market share.

One of the good things of gaming is that compared to many other industries where there are one or two companies with over 80-90% of the market share here the market share is way more spread than usual across a ton of companies. Here the top 50 public companies or so combined make above 80% of the market share. So yes, like in any other industry most small actors get a shitty market share, but here at least there are a ton of huge companies who only have a small slice of the pie, and that big chunk of over 80-90% of the market share is spread into way more companies than usual.

For that reason Tencent, Sony or MS shouldn't get their acquisitions blocked by regulators.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
Yeah coarse it’s just the usual people who constantly bash the game showing concern, it is the biggest selling game most years of coarse.
Personally, with the way Sony are behaving at the moment, I’m just worried that when MS inevitably pull CoD from PS Sony will just increase the price of every console to £800 to make up the difference.
 

Zathalus

Member
I don't think that matters or should matter given Microsoft has also bought many studios recently (e.g. Ninja Theory + others) ALONG with two publishers. If you dislike one company for doing it, then that should still apply for the other, the one that you like.


You must have been a X360 gamer during that generation. Microsoft did the same thing by paying for exclusives/content. Sony had to invest internally during that generation.
I don't dislike one company doing it over the other, I already stated I don't mind exclusives, I was just pointing out that why is it suddenly a problem now?

As for being a 360 gamer, I own a 360 yes, I have also owned every major console from every manufacturer since the late 90s.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
You must have been a X360 gamer during that generation. Microsoft did the same thing by paying for exclusives/content. Sony had to invest internally during that generation.

Sony had more games that were off X360 than the other way around lol. They had some Jrpgs and a few Rpgs signed up on a contract from their year head start and that was the extent of that advantage.

CoD the game - some people think it’s trash.

FIFA the game - is trash.

The hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue they generate for PlayStation annually benefits every single PlayStation user.

Hopefully you can understand now why it can be both trash and important at the same time.

Losing FIFA would be much more damaging to PlayStation that COD.
 

sainraja

Member
I don't dislike one company doing it over the other, I already stated I don't mind exclusives, I was just pointing out that why is it suddenly a problem now?

As for being a 360 gamer, I own a 360 yes, I have also owned every major console from every manufacturer since the late 90s.
It is not suddenly a problem now. It's been standard practice, used by both companies when the market favored them. The only thing that's changed, is MS upped the ante by going after big publishers. I mean, you can be fine with it based on how you see it might benefit YOU, that's not the point though, but you have to be able to see the difference between buying studios vs big publishers with tons of IP lol. Otherwise, I don't see the point you were getting at initially.
 
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Oh sure, after Skyrim, Fallout 4, Doom reboot, etc… sold gang busters on consoles and PlayStations too, Starfield and TES VI were not already in development for PS4 (and PS5). This would be delusional, I do not think you even believe that (but it would be quite biased if you).
Starfield was absolutely in development, the Bethesda deal was finalized literally less than 1.5 years ago.
 

quest

Not Banned from OT
It is not suddenly a problem now. It's been standard practice, used by both companies when the market favored them. The only thing that's changed, is MS upped the ante by going after big publishers. I mean, you can be fine with it based on how you see it might benefit YOU, that's not the point though, but you have to be able to see the difference between buying studios vs big publishers with tons of IP lol. Otherwise, I don't see the point you were getting at initially.

Zenimax ownership was desperate to sell. It was not making much money hence cash grabs like FO 76. Sony should of pulled the trigger when they had the chance. They have the money seeing what they paid for bungie. Sony was out flanked on that one. Microsoft learned a valuable lesson during the 360 era money hats and marketing deals are a complete waste of cash. It's a much better investment in buying studio's.
 
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