Sony Expresses Concern on Xbox Game Pass Growth

The company used the growth to highlight problems with the Microsoft/Activison merger.

The company used the growth to highlight problems with the Microsoft/Activison merger.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard continue to push forward with their efforts to complete their planned merger, much to the chagrin of both global watchdog entities, who are still pursuing antitrust investigations, and their chief competitor, Sony. Sony has repeatedly expressed concerns with the deal, particularly with how it will give Microsoft much heavier leverage over major game franchises like Call of Duty.

In a series of observations released by Sony, the company noted that one major point of concern is the steady growth of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass platform, particularly versus its own PlayStation Plus service. Sony’s concern is that, should Microsoft gain exclusivity over Activision’s game franchises, their own services will decline further out of their control.

“Game Pass leads PlayStation Plus significantly. Microsoft already has a substantial lead in multi-game subscription services. Game Pass has 29 million subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and is expected to grow substantially in the future. The multi-game subscription tiers of PlayStation Plus considerably lag, with fewer than [redacted] the number of subscribers.”

Interestingly, Sony’s cited statistic of 29 million subscribers to Game Pass is substantially higher than Microsoft’s most-recently reported statistics, which place the subscriber count around 25 million. It is not clear if this was intended to be a forecast, or a miscommunication.

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