Phil Spencer Confirms Sony Paid Square Enix to Skip Xbox Series X/S Completely During FTC Trial – The Console War Escalates

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Sony have had a mixed bag with developers in the recent past when it comes to PlayStation console exclusives from third-party developers. Sometimes you have the incredibly average and mediocre Forspoken, but then on the other end of the spectrum you have FromSoft’s Bloodborne, which for the record, definitely needs to be remastered for the current generation of consoles.


Unlike in the years gone by though, third-party developed exclusives are becoming a product of a bygone era. Bar the odd one, most games will now either release for the company’s console they’re owned by – see The Last of Us, Starfield, God of War etc – or the developers of the game will approach the various platforms and see which are interested in distributing and supporting it.



When speaking to Game Informer a few months ago about Final Fantasy XVI, producer Naoki Yoshida had this to say, highlighting the process.

“Final Fantasy [is one] of Square Enix’s [most] important franchises up there with Dragon Quest and the Kingdom Hearts series. When we do begin development, we do approach multiple platforms, multiple companies, about releasing the game. And when you approach them, they’re going to come back to us with their offers.”

The reason this is important is because it highlights the severity of the accusation-come-confirmed-truth Phil Spencer has levied towards Sony during the highly contentious FTC hearing happening as we speak. for the uninitiated regarding that, there’s no quick and easy lesson on the subject, but there’s a huge legal proceeding underway that if passed, allows Microsoft to push their $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard through, potentially changing the face of the video game industry in the process.


Of course if that sale goes through, there’s arguments to be made that Sony and PlayStation will suffer, with Activision Blizzard being such a sizeable company with so many IPs and fingers in pots, but then again, the same could be said for either company with their multiple purchases of ‘smaller’ developers, under the guise of having them become first party developers for the company buying them. What’s far about that?

Related: The Microsoft/Activision Deal May Be Blocked In Yet Another Country!

Is Sony’s Final Fantasy Exclusivity Purchase that Big a Deal?



Potentially. Of course there are plenty of console exclusives that fans can only digest on one console or another. However, paying a third-party developer to essentially with-hold a product completely from a rival is at the least a dirty move, and at best considered ‘anti-competitive’, which is a viewpoint shared by North Dakotan Senator Kevin Cramer. This isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last time that something like this gets brought up during the hearing, and it certainly isn’t the first time it’s happened for either of the big two platforms, but it is the first time an accusation of this magnitude has been bandied about during such a highly publicized event.

Related: Jim Ryan Will Refuse Key Information with Activision Developers if Acquisition Goes Through – The Console Wars Rage On

It also throws a wrench in Sony’s argument against the potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. Currently, they’re arguing against the purchase in the most simplest terms. If it goes through, then Microsoft could withhold huge franchises like Diablo, Call of Duty, Overwatch and more from the PlayStation brand, which undoubtedly would damage Sony’s reputation and profits whilst strengthening Microsoft’s in a huge way.


Call of Duty and Overwatch specifically are two of the biggest competitive games currently on the market, dominating online arenas and e-sports competitions alike. If you could only enjoy these on the latest Xbox, you’d be more likely to buy it over a PlayStation. Similar to Mario and Zelda fans specifically having to buy Nintendo’s latest offering to enjoy their favourite franchises (the difference being these were originally created and owned by the platform, grown organically and with time, but the example stands).

Related: ‘LMAO they lie again’ Microsoft Slammed for Claiming ‘Xbox has lost the console wars’ to Playstation as Reason Why They Want to Buy Acquire Activision Blizzard

Of course this isn’t the first bit of mud-slinging the hearing has seen, with both sides seemingly taking the public standing of the hearing to take pot shots at the other, and this is just the latest but it won’t be the last.


What do you think? Is Sony’s effectual purchase of Final Fantasy XVI just good business, or is it in fact shady and under-handed, breaking fair competition rules for businesses? Do you think the proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard will go through? And if it does, do you think it’ll have a negative impact on gaming going forward as Sony says? Lots to discuss with this, so let us know in the comments!

Source: PeterOvo5

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Written by Luke Addison

Articles Published: 441

Luke Addison is the Lead Video Game Critic and Gaming Editor. As likely to be caught listening to noughties rock as he is watching the latest blockbuster cinema release, Luke is the quintessential millennial wistfully wishing after a forgotten era of entertainment. Also a diehard Chelsea fan, for his sins.

Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd