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

Kagey K

Member
spiderman GIF

I don't even anymore
I don't think even he believes his own bullshit.
 

sainraja

Member
That’s the other thing. It’s hard to feel bad for Sony who just loves dropping off a bag of cash and keeping things off other platforms. I wish neither of them were buying up established devs and would just agree to stop the moneyhats and timed exclusives. It benefits nobody.
Well they both do that, even purchasing individual studios. This generation, MS just took it a step further by purchasing full publishers and their IPs. We shouldn't forget how Microsoft was making lots of exclusivity deals and doing timed exclusive stuff during the X360 era. Sony double-downed on it during the PS4 era. I am sure they would have done so with the PS3 gen if they could, but they had to invest internally. I thought they started with the PS2 and GTA3 but most of us know now that Rockstar went to MS first for GTA3 exclusivity and were rejected.

Basically, I don't think we can say one is better or worse than the other. Not that you were.....but you shouldn't feel bad for either of them.
 
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RoadHazard

Gold 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?

How is buying Bungie, a studio with one decently successful franchise, different from buying the entirety of Activision and all their very successful franchises, including THE most successful one? Yeah, I wonder.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
He never said his goal is to make COD exclusive. He said today again, and very clearly, that they will continue releasing the future COD games on PlayStation and (this part they didn't specified it until today) that they will do it on day one and did mention again (they did it in the acquisition SEC filing) Minecraft as example.

Their main goals with the acquisitions is to secure content for GP and in game subs yes, to make it exclusive for game subs. But not console exclusive, they plan to continue selling their biggest existing IPs in rival consoles as multiplatform releases.

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.
 
The guy dispenses lies.

If he's so concerned with choice he'd have left all the games coming out as multiplat of the publishers he bought, he didn't and made them exclusive. The same will happen after all current games that had a commitment in place ie this year's cod.
 

SlimySnake

Member
This only confirms Netflix is run by morons.
Seinfeld makes billions in syndication. Both Seinfeld and Larry David make $400 million each by themselves from every syndication cycle. $500 million for multiple years is really not that bad of a deal.
 
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BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
I really dont see why this is different from Starfield. One was a 7.5 billion purchase, the other is $70 billion. Both were made to bring more EXCLUSIVE content to Xbox. Microsoft makes billions in profits every year. like $50 billion last year. They dont need the pitiful $2 billion in profits Activision/Blizzard generates every year. That purchase will pay off in 35 years. It's not about adding revenue or adding profits to their portfolio. The purchase is about getting CoD and ALL the cod users to come to the Xbox ecosystem. You call the starfield non-believers retarded but you are literally doing the same thing. No one is buying MS's repeated PR claims. Not Sony, not the authorities. Just you.

The only way I can see CoD coming to PS5 is if MS holds it hostage until Sony allows Gamepass on Playstation which they wont and thats why you are seeing Sony fight this in court. No one is that gullible. No one believes they are buying THE biggest franchise EVER to offer games more choice. They are doing it to win back all the 360 casual COD gamers who left them in the PS4 era. Thats it. Thats the end game. Everything is else is lies to get this through the courts and regulatory bodies.

Nah I really doubt they pull it off PS completely. I think they will try a death by a million cuts strategy. Obviously they will take over marketing and be screaming from the rooftops that’s it’s free with gamepass. Play the campaign a week early on gamepass. Exclusive DLC for xbox. They will get creative Im sure. Pulling it off PS completely in the the near future would just make them look like they’re full of shit and be such bad PR.
 

SlimySnake

Member
Nah I really doubt they pull it off PS completely. I think they will try a death by a million cuts strategy. Obviously they will take over marketing and be screaming from the rooftops that’s it’s free with gamepass. Play the campaign a week early on gamepass. Exclusive DLC for xbox. They will get creative Im sure. Pulling it off PS completely in the the near future would just make them look like they’re full of shit and be such bad PR.
It wont be the near future. Sony supposedly has marketing rights for the next 2-3 CoDs. This is about what they will do after that contract expires.
 

quest

Not Banned from OT
It wont be the near future. Sony supposedly has marketing rights for the next 2-3 CoDs. This is about what they will do after that contract expires.
It will be on Playstation for a very long time. Pulling it just let's another 3rd party game take its place killing the value of COD. It's value is to have it on gamepass day 1 and special promotions like exclusive modes or early access.
 

fallingdove

Member
Good on the UK CMA for seeing through the act and pointing to Microsoft withholding Bethesda games from other platforms.

Phil and Microsoft are looking to defeat their competitors just like any other business is. The problem is that Phil isn’t particularly clever with his deceit. Read his playbook from the other side of town.
 

SlimySnake

Member
It will be on Playstation for a very long time. Pulling it just let's another 3rd party game take its place killing the value of COD. It's value is to have it on gamepass day 1 and special promotions like exclusive modes or early access.
Like I said above. If putting in on gamepass was their only priority they couldve simply paid for it. Sony cant block it forever and MS can clearly afford to outbid Sony.
 

DarkMage619

Report me if I continue to console war
Everything's fine with other companies paying to lock up exclusives though 🐥
This is an interesting point. It also ignores that MS isn't even the biggest player in this space. Even taking Bethesda the main games that have since been released from Bethesda have been PS exclusives.

Deathloop is hitting PS+. MS can't even confirm it will hit Xbox at all. It's all speculation. Think about a game like Stalker 2. We all know how long the delay will be till it hits other consoles. Can't say that about the Bethesda games. Perhaps the UK regulators aren't aware of this.

With regard to Starfield I've never seen anything official that the game was even planned for PlayStation at all. It wasn't surprising that Deathloop was a PS5 exclusive but Starfield being an Xbox exclusive is a sign of something sinister. Interesting to see how this all plays out.
 
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coffinbirth

Member
I really dont see why this is different from Starfield. One was a 7.5 billion purchase, the other is $70 billion. Both were made to bring more EXCLUSIVE content to Xbox. Microsoft makes billions in profits every year. like $50 billion last year. They dont need the pitiful $2 billion in profits Activision/Blizzard generates every year. That purchase will pay off in 35 years. It's not about adding revenue or adding profits to their portfolio. The purchase is about getting CoD and ALL the cod users to come to the Xbox ecosystem. You call the starfield non-believers retarded but you are literally doing the same thing. No one is buying MS's repeated PR claims. Not Sony, not the authorities. Just you.

The only way I can see CoD coming to PS5 is if MS holds it hostage until Sony allows Gamepass on Playstation which they wont and thats why you are seeing Sony fight this in court. No one is that gullible. No one believes they are buying THE biggest franchise EVER to offer games more choice. They are doing it to win back all the 360 casual COD gamers who left them in the PS4 era. Thats it. Thats the end game. Everything is else is lies to get this through the courts and regulatory bodies.
This is a business and leaving money on the table not releasing CoD on PS5 for the foreseeable future doesn't make sense. They are offering a value proposition via GamePass, and the more IP you add to that the more reasons to not buy a PS5 in the first place.

THAT'S the end goal. You can make money off PS5 users and sway fence sitters in one fell swoop.

Now, what people are seriously failing to realize here is that Xbox will be getting so much exclusive shit within these games, they will effectively be making the PS5 versions clearly inferior. Operators, guns, maps, modes, skins, the whole shebang.

Yeah, they'll offer CoD on PS5, but they'll make damn sure you know it's the worst value, especially by slapping a $70 price tag on it with a wink and a smile.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
With regard to Starfield I've never seen anything official that the game was even planned for PlayStation at all. It wasn't surprising that Deathloop was a PS5 exclusive but Starfield being an Xbox exclusive is a sign of something sinister. Interesting to see how this all plays out.

Starfield was only brought up as a PC game until Xbox Brought Zenimax. People were made they kept going around questions about console releases, than they just stopped talking about it until the buyout happened.
 

Goalus

Member
Shit i thought that an independent publisher/dev would allow players more choices, have a larger audience....
You're wrong there, because an independent publisher can easily be bribed by a certain Japanese company. That is no longer possible as soon as the publisher belongs to MS.
 

MikeM

Member
That’s the other thing. It’s hard to feel bad for Sony who just loves dropping off a bag of cash and keeping things off other platforms. I wish neither of them were buying up established devs and would just agree to stop the moneyhats and timed exclusives. It benefits nobody.
Man I hate these arguments.

MS needs to drop off bigger bags of cash then. Studios obviously benefit or they would not agree. Studios also need to look at where their games will likely sell best. Depending on the game, its usually PS.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Man I hate these arguments.

MS needs to drop off bigger bags of cash then. Studios obviously benefit or they would not agree. Studios also need to look at where their games will likely sell best. Depending on the game, its usually PS.

So you would prefer if MS outbid Sony for timed exclusives? I don't understand how you as a customer support this practice. It does nothing for you.

And MS did do that. Sony was negotiating a timed exclusive deal for Starfield then showed up one day and Phil had the keys to the building.
 

MikeM

Member
So you would prefer if MS outbid Sony for timed exclusives? I don't understand how you as a customer support this practice. It does nothing for you.

And MS did do that. Sony was negotiating a timed exclusive deal for Starfield then showed up one day and Phil had the keys to the building.
Just like anything else- its a business decision and they need to rate the potential return on that investment.

I have both boxes so I don’t care. I just don’t understand how people can be blind to the fact that both sides weigh the pros and cons of these deals before agreeing.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Just like anything else- its a business decision and they need to rate the potential return on that investment.

I have both boxes so I don’t care. I just don’t understand how people can be blind to the fact that both sides weigh the pros and cons of these deals before agreeing.

Nobody is saying that they're not weighing pros and cons. It's a slimy business move and does nothing for you as a customer no matter who is doing it. I also have both boxes and don't really care but I can also acknowledge that it's a shitty practice. Google and Apple benefit from sellling your data, that doesn't make it good for me as a customer.
 

MikeM

Member
Nobody is saying that they're not weighing pros and cons. It's a slimy business move and does nothing for you as a customer no matter who is doing it. I also have both boxes and don't really care but I can also acknowledge that it's a shitty practice. Google and Apple benefit from sellling your data, that doesn't make it good for me as a customer.
Slimy to who? The consumer? The consumer isn’t fronting the dev costs of these games and some studios can absolutely use the funds up front to help them float these costs.

What does selling user data have to do with exclusive deals?
 

DaGwaphics

Member
It will be on Playstation for a very long time. Pulling it just let's another 3rd party game take its place killing the value of COD. It's value is to have it on gamepass day 1 and special promotions like exclusive modes or early access.

From the sound of the statements today, exclusive modes and early access will probably not be on the table either. Unless it was something multi-platform (early access for purchasing deluxe/deluxe upgrade or something like that. They stressed the part about the same version on the same day. CoD will just be a better value on Xbox and PC thanks to GP, that's a big get in itself.
 
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BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Slimy to who? The consumer? The consumer isn’t fronting the dev costs of these games and some studios can absolutely use the funds up front to help them float these costs.

What does selling user data have to do with exclusive deals?

Selling user data is an example of a business practice that benefits companies and not consumers. Sorry if I lost you there for a second. And yes indie studios signing gamepass deals or marketing deals is different than moneyhatting huge AAA games, but you knew that already. Square does not need Sonys money to make the next FF.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
You're wrong there, because an independent publisher can easily be bribed by a certain Japanese company. That is no longer possible as soon as the publisher belongs to MS.
Now the game of the independent multiplatform publisher/dev can be truly available everywhere (where there is GamePass… or it does not exist unless forced), I did not know they were so generous :p.

Something tells me that the divide is really the old console war divide: ultimately it is not a green camp concerns if the blue camp gets nothing or breadcrumbs, all arguments are used if they can prop the deal being suggested but just so far as that… after that as long as it is in MS’s camp control and Xbox customers think they will have access games being removed from other platforms stops being a concern.
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Starfield was only brought up as a PC game until Xbox Brought Zenimax. People were made they kept going around questions about console releases, than they just stopped talking about it until the buyout happened.
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).
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Like I said above. If putting in on gamepass was their only priority they couldve simply paid for it. Sony cant block it forever and MS can clearly afford to outbid Sony.
Yup.

Good on the UK CMA for seeing through the act and pointing to Microsoft withholding Bethesda games from other platforms.

Phil and Microsoft are looking to defeat their competitors just like any other business is. The problem is that Phil isn’t particularly clever with his deceit. Read his playbook from the other side of town.
 

Zathalus

Member
How is buying Bungie, a studio with one decently successful franchise, different from buying the entirety of Activision and all their very successful franchises, including THE most successful one? Yeah, I wonder.
So Bungie is the only company Sony bought and is planning to buy in future? Sony is also not going to pay for third-party exclusives anymore either?
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
So Bungie is the only company Sony bought and is planning to buy in future? Sony is also not going to pay for third-party exclusives anymore either?

The only other major-ish studio they've bought recently is Insomniac, and they already had a practically 1st party relationship with them.
 

Zathalus

Member
The only other major-ish studio they've bought recently is Insomniac, and they already had a practically 1st party relationship with them.
1st party relationship, basically means they were paying for games to come exclusively to Playstation (see Housemarque, Firesprite, and Bluepoint Games as well). So would it be better if instead of Micosoft outright buying ABK they pay for exclusivity on all titles for the next 10 years and then buy them? Because of the relationship?

What about third-party exclusives like Kena, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy XVI, Stray, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (remake)? Are all those just fine because Sony didnt buy the publisher, even though the end result is the exact same for Xbox only gamers?

I'm sorry, I just don't understand all this pearl clutching over something (exclusives) that has been industry standard in forever. Even when it seems the only console game that will really shift numbers (COD) is remaining multiplatform.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
1st party relationship, basically means they were paying for games to come exclusively to Playstation (see Housemarque, Firesprite, and Bluepoint Games as well). So would it be better if instead of Micosoft outright buying ABK they pay for exclusivity on all titles for the next 10 years and then buy them? Because of the relationship?

What about third-party exclusives like Kena, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy XVI, Stray, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (remake)? Are all those just fine because Sony didnt buy the publisher, even though the end result is the exact same for Xbox only gamers?

I'm sorry, I just don't understand all this pearl clutching over something (exclusives) that has been industry standard in forever. Even when it seems the only console game that will really shift numbers (COD) is remaining multiplatform.

No, Sony were not paying Insomniac to keep their games PS exclusive, they were contracting them to develop games FOR Sony, in franchises owned by Sony (or licensed to them in the case of Spider-Man). That's rather different. Same with Bluepoint and all their remakes of Sony owned games. None of those were ever gonna come to competing platforms.

Yes, Sony has also paid to keep games off other platforms, but we were talking about studios they have acquired.
 
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Zathalus

Member
No, Sony were not paying Insomniac to keep their games PS exclusive, they were contracting them to develop games FOR Sony, in franchises owned by Sony (or licensed to them in the case of Spider-Man). That's rather different. Same with Bluepoint and all their remakes of Sony owned games. None of those were ever gonna come to competing platforms.

Yes, Sony has also paid to keep games off other platforms, but we were talking about studios they have acquired.
So all Microsoft needs to do is get into an agreement with ABK that states that they will be developing all games exclusively for Xbox going forward and then buying them after 10 years of that and it would make it fine?
 

MikeM

Member
So all Microsoft needs to do is get into an agreement with ABK that states that they will be developing all games exclusively for Xbox going forward and then buying them after 10 years of that and it would make it fine?
Sure. The amount of money MS would have to cough up would have to be astronomical to the point that it would be likely absurd. ABK makes tons of money of the PS platform and MS would basically need to replace it.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
So all Microsoft needs to do is get into an agreement with ABK that states that they will be developing all games exclusively for Xbox going forward and then buying them after 10 years of that and it would make it fine?

Also not what happened with Insomniac.
 
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Listen, the industry is on borrowed time when it comes to being something recognizable that I care about.

Phil buying things and putting it gamepass is less offensive than Sonys price hikes, gamepass blocker contracts, and timed deals for everything. Sony just acts like a little bitch, they deserve pressure so they remain number 1 with a big *

Your PS6 is probably a pc anyway.
 

oldergamer

Gold Member
Some of the replies in this thread show just how fanboyish people can be. 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 this gen has raised prices on hardware and first party games, controllers etc. They also were willing to spend a lot of money to prevent games from the companies ms has purchased from being on xbox.

They dont release games on any other console. Only recently embraced pc (but for who knows how long as this isnt the first time they have changed to focus on pc)

Microsoft now isnt the same company it was under ballmer and gates. They have different goals and a far greater device reach with software. Anyway i find it funny that people cite games being exclusive that sony tried to pay for exclusivity before the made these big purchases.

Activision has certain cod games exclusive to PlayStation. Sony paid for certain Bethesda games to be exclusive. Ms isnt a market leader and realized they dont have to be in order to be profitable ( aka Nintendo). They wont stop selling games on playstation. It would impact being profitable with activision.

Anyway what im getting at is certain people want sony to "run away" with the console market unopposed. That in itself is bad for consumers. More so then any single purchase that could be made.
 
When will NeoGaf learn that anything MS says on this subject is practically irrelevant to the authorities reviewing the deal?

They don't give a shit about Phil's oft-empty promises. They care about precedent and how that can indicate what is likely to occur.

Once the deal goes through, there literally nothing stopping MS from changing their minds and making COD and all other ACTI-Blizzard games exclusive to their platform alone. Nothing. At that point, they already control the company and its properties and so can do what they like with it.

Before the deal is greenlit, this is really their only opportunity to scrutinise the deal and the potential ramifications, and either block it or impose restrictions on the acquisition if they find anything that could potentially hurt competition in the marketplace.

So thinking the MS's spoken comments hold any weight at all is insufferably naive.

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.

Does anybody seriously think regulators will look at that and believe, "MS won't do that again with Activision-Blizzard because Phil says so"?! Don't be dense.
 

The_Mike

Member
So Bungie is the only company Sony bought and is planning to buy in future? Sony is also not going to pay for third-party exclusives anymore either?
Bungie seems to be the only one worth mentioning.

Destiny 2 is closer to Call of Duty and Diablo than games like Final Fantasy.

FF has a fanbase, but its not exactly big anymore.
 

SlimySnake

Member
Some of the replies in this thread show just how fanboyish people can be. 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 this gen has raised prices on hardware and first party games, controllers etc. They also were willing to spend a lot of money to prevent games from the companies ms has purchased from being on xbox.

They dont release games on any other console. Only recently embraced pc (but for who knows how long as this isnt the first time they have changed to focus on pc)

Microsoft now isnt the same company it was under ballmer and gates. They have different goals and a far greater device reach with software. Anyway i find it funny that people cite games being exclusive that sony tried to pay for exclusivity before the made these big purchases.

Activision has certain cod games exclusive to PlayStation. Sony paid for certain Bethesda games to be exclusive. Ms isnt a market leader and realized they dont have to be in order to be profitable ( aka Nintendo). They wont stop selling games on playstation. It would impact being profitable with activision.

Anyway what im getting at is certain people want sony to "run away" with the console market unopposed. That in itself is bad for consumers. More so then any single purchase that could be made.
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.
 
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