Microsoft teaches Sony how to better manage PlayStation Plus

The gruesome merging of the Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus logos is thought provoking.

Image: Sony/Microsoft/Kotaku

What document treasury Microsoft’s filing Tuesday with the Brazilian antitrust authorities in response to Sony’s objections to its attempts to buy Activision Blizzard contains another real gem. In it, Microsoft took the time to tell Sony how it can (read: should) better manage the revamped PS Plus service so it doesn’t have to worry about competition as much as, say, Xbox Game Pass.

As Kotaku previously reporteda document submitted as part of one of the many international competitions iinvestigation into Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard – accuses Sony of making deals with publishers that keep games from appearing on Game Pass, which she cites as an example of Sony’s own competitive behavior. This is accompanied by lists of examples of Sony’s own games not released for competitor consoles, all to emphasize that if Microsoft made Activision games exclusive to Xbox, it would be in line with the objector’s own actions.

But what made me really happy was that I noticed a paragraph there where Microsoft pauses to just give some unsolicited advice to Sony about how the Japanese company could do a much better job with PS Plus. Microsoft’s main advice? Submit your own PlayStation games on day one.

Statement from document in Portuguese (translated by another Kotaku) begins: “Sony could further capitalize on the high quality of its games by making them available on PlayStation Plus on launch day. Such a strategy could rapidly accelerate the growth of the service’s user base in response to the competitive pressures of Game Pass (or any other service) and [the strategy] not used by Sony, even when it comes to the new and updated PlayStation Plus.”

There’s so much wit and disdain in there. First, just including unsolicited advice is such a bitchy act. “Hey Sony, are you worried? You? Well, maybe you could do better by following our example?” Then there’s “quickly accelerate the growth of the service’s user base,” or to paraphrase, “Your PS Plus audience is tiny? Ouch”. Then it’s great, “even if it’s a new and updated PlayStation Plus.” Like, even Microsoft was completely baffled that Sony didn’t do this as part of the relaunch.

Just in case that wasn’t caustic enough, Microsoft ends a short section by saying “Sony’s move like this could make PlayStation Plus even more attractive to be able to compete with the possible strategies of rival game publishers – in the best interest of gamers.”

It’s so wild! It boils down to what Microsoft says: “If you think buying Activision Blizzard is threatening your business, maybe you should better manage your business in the first place? That’s how!”

It is worth reviewing the entire 27-page document. Google translator for your own amusement, as this is simply the most caustic part of the letter.

Don’t confuse my joy at childish banter with choosing sides in this whole maelstrom. God knows, I hate it when the gaming industry buys itself up, approaching the music industry’s deadly state of being almost wholly owned by just four companies. But as long as I watch in horror, I will rejoice in the pettiness along the way.

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