Embedded in the 277-page document is a short paragraph revealing that Microsoft has submitted an internal analysis to the government agency that shows “[SECURITY] base game sales decreased by % over the following twelve months when they are added to the Game Pass.”
As GI.biz reported, this confirmation was included in the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s interim report on Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion merger with Activision Blizzard.
This admission contrasts with comments made by Xbox boss Phil Spencer in 2018, in which he claimed that adding titles to the service had actually boosted sales.
Microsoft’s decision to acquire Activision Blizzard has drawn scrutiny from antitrust regulators around the world, and its main competitor is the Sony PlayStation. Many of the objections surrounding the merger stemmed from concerns that it would give Microsoft the rights to create popular franchises, such as Call of Duty, exclusively for the Xbox.
Sony had previously raised concerns about the deal in a November 2022 statement, in which it indicated that the merger could “reduce current and future competition in subscription services.” sign many games”, such as their own PlayStation Plus service. In the same statement, the entertainment giant announced that Xbox Game Pass now has more than 29 million subscribers.
Earlier this month, the European Union reportedly sent Microsoft a formal antitrust warning about the deal, while across the ocean, the US Federal Trade Commission sought to block the merger.