Microsoft is in the midst of complying with an investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over the company’s planned $69bn purchase of Activision Blizzard. In the latest mic drop, Microsoft admits that Sony’s PlayStation brand has better exclusive games than its own Xbox platform.

Exclusive games are one of the only true differentiators between the Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5. Both console platforms deliver mostly the same performance levels. So, most games become PlayStation or Xbox fans based on exclusive content.

Both Microsoft and Sony have their fair share of exclusive content. On Xbox, there are triple A franchises such as Gears of War, Forza, and Halo, while on PlayStation there is God of War and Gran Turismo, among others.

However, Microsoft tells the CMA that the overall quality of first-party games on the PS5 is better than it can offer on Xbox. To make the point, the company points to Metacritic data that shows the top 20 PlayStation exclusives score on average 87/100, while the top 20 on Xbox have an average score of 80/100.

Exclusives

These numbers are taken from 2021, while Microsoft also says Sony exclusives took 10-20% of all game sales on PlayStation. In contrast, Microsoft exclusives accounted for 0-10% of game sales during 2021. These figures were also mostly the same when looking at digital game sales.

Despite this, Microsoft continues to insist that it will not make Activision Blizzard franchises like Diablo, Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush Xbox exclusive. Many critics of the merger between Microsoft and the game developer argue Microsoft will eventually make all those brands exclusive to Xbox/PC Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Xbox consoles.

Microsoft has consistently said there is no profit in doing this as those franchises make tens of millions of dollars as cross-platform games.

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