Exclusivity is a big marketing strategy for all companies involved in the industry. This includes Sony and Microsoft, with both companies pursuing first and third-party exclusives to bring customers to their platforms.
In 2023, PlayStation has exclusives like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Microsoft has big hitters like Starfield. However, the Microsoft CEO appears to be against the concept of exclusives and has recently expressed interest in getting rid of exclusives entirely.
Why it matters: Exclusives have existed for decades, but they can be considered harmful for individual players that do not have the budget to own all platforms.
During Microsoft’s recent court hearing against the FTC, Satya Nadella was asked to testify for the Activision Blizzard merger.
The Microsoft CEO was asked various questions, but his comments on exclusivity caught the gaming industry’s attention. Satya Nadella said:
“If it was up to me I would love to get rid of the entire exclusives on consoles.”
According to the Microsoft CEO, Xbox is too small of a player to make this decision. The market is dictated by leaders like PlayStation and Nintendo, but both are currently very reliant on exclusive games.
He believes Microsoft is forced to rely on exclusives due to PlayStation’s approach to the industry. While Referring to Sony, Satya Nadella said:
“The dominant player has defined market competition using exclusives, so that’s the world we live in.”
Exclusivity is a massive concern for regulators and has become a big hurdle for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The FTC believes Microsoft has an incentive to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox platforms, which could harm the competition.
However, the CEO’s words suggest otherwise. Microsoft has already made deals for the Call of Duty franchise. This includes a contract with Nintendo, and the gaming giant previously expressed interest in signing a similar contract with Sony.
He also claimed that Microsoft aims to make games available for more and more platforms, which is also in line with the company’s goals to make all kinds of software more widely available.
Previously, it was revealed that Microsoft canceled the PlayStation version of Redfall. Additionally, the recent court hearings have revealed that Indiana Jones was initially in development for multiple platforms.
Microsoft also relies on Game Pass deals, bringing various AAA titles to the subscription at launch. This includes upcoming games like Lies of P and Persona 3 Reload.
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