Ctrl+Alt+Deceive: All The Dirt, Info, Lies, and LOLs We Found During FTC vs. Microsoft

BlueLyria

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29 Apr 2023
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Good job, I saw that some users on gaf took to themselves to say that this was "List wars", Biased or the classic "Sony Too", But I think you did a great job of simply spreading what was said on the trial without much bias.
 

ksdixon

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22 Jun 2022
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All this info and yet we still have no numbers on Xbox division and Gamepass profitability, they want to impose their business model on the industry by leveraging their massive size yet all the most basic info about their business model is kept completely secret.

At least we know that xCloud just costs them money.

Also, it's weird how Bobby does not seem that concerned with helping the deal pass, he either takes lying under oath more seriously than Phil or he just doesn't give a shit.
Why would he give a shit? He's poised to walk away from a scuppered deal with 3B for Activision.
 
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Papacheeks

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Here are all the dirt, information, lies, and LOLs we found during the FTC hearing case.

Notes:
  • That was a lot of work; I'd appreciate your support.
  • Please keep it civil.
  • This thread is very important because I wanted to compile all the information in one place for posterity and preservation of information.
  • Please let me know if I missed any big stuff; I'll add it.


SONY

#1 — Jim Ryan doesn’t think Starfield’s exclusivity is anti-competitive​





#2 — 1 million PlayStation players play only Call of Duty, and nothing else​

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#3 — Sony’s Call of Duty deals expires in 2024​

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#4 — Poorly redacted FTC docs revealed Sony’s game development budget​

TLOU 2 cost $220 million, while Horizon Forbidden West cost $212 million to develop.

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#5 — Poorly redacted docs show how much COD is worth to PlayStation​

2aRerSbDHxVdj4kyDafyICAfmlpQ7gvtrpBQDWoByTSYG3IdCjh56pEmhCoW_yyfaf1p9yxV9eA2LtGyW7DhqLWaWxnkj7OzDcliNBFKZonGKJ16fdgw_4upUDQ_y02OE8rY5tPAw49sRxH6zq4Sc4s


  • COD represents $800 million of PlayStation revenue in just the United States.
  • PS players who play COD are responsible for $15.9 billion of annual PS revenue.


#6 — Jim Ryan initially believed that MS’s ABK purchase wasn’t about PlayStation exclusivity​

Jim Ryan was “pretty sure” that COD would remain multiplatform.

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Jim Ryan said that he initially believed that Microsoft’s ABK purchase wasn’t about PlayStation exclusivity and that an agreement could be reached.



#7 — Jim Ryan said, “Publishers don’t like Game Pass.” Bobby Kottick agreed and also called Game Pass “value destructive.”​

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Kottick said the same thing and used the same phrase, “value destructive,” when describing Game Pass.





#8 — Sony’s internal data reveals that only 20% of PS5 owners own an Xbox in the US​

-SeRFW3lYhTBqm_TNkRS5BdeIJgf2CKNW5DfIpyiwydH8-vyn3CYGqYYKwBDFIhL0N-3gRBbSrSRsZVBKChddxTgdiguDxk2TR9_LycEvIBRhHNif5B8zMV0o9VLqSzM1uc6u6jhLLj1W29CpJv3OnY




#9 — Sony’s internal data reveals that nearly 50% of PS5 owners own a Nintendo Switch in the US​

-SeRFW3lYhTBqm_TNkRS5BdeIJgf2CKNW5DfIpyiwydH8-vyn3CYGqYYKwBDFIhL0N-3gRBbSrSRsZVBKChddxTgdiguDxk2TR9_LycEvIBRhHNif5B8zMV0o9VLqSzM1uc6u6jhLLj1W29CpJv3OnY




MICROSOFT

#10 — Matt Booty’s internal email showed a will to “spend Sony out of business.”​

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The email was sent in 2019. Microsoft disregarded that email as a “thought experiment.” However, since that email was sent, Microsoft has spent $80 billion dollars on acquiring multiplatform game developers and publishers.

He also discussed having a “moat of content” in the same email above, referring to Microsoft’s walled-garden approach.



#11 — Microsoft made a list of 100+ developers and publishers for potential purchases​

Including SquareEnix, Sega, FromSoftware, CDPR, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Sony!

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-zH-crNcjfmL-neRanxGjATHIiYK0bQfta6IkBaIw2oCC154GF51dtxH8qweQPSP19Yxgo4Dhp_DNk3Qy2qr2S1kpb3XyTIPQMWFc17tPFBaYiDwn6Q5VTLKEqBH0jBVwugM4ZKcgw8WVsnLlW_Nzlo




#12 — Microsoft narrowed down potential purchases to 17 targets​

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Including HouseMarque, Bungie, and Sega.

In 2021, HouseMarque mentioned that they were approached by “the usual suspects” from China, Europe, and America.

This implies that these 17 targets were officially approached for an acquisition.



#13 — Phil Spencer incorrectly denied reports of Japanese acquisitions​

In November 2021, a report leaked Microsoft’s attempt to acquire a Japanese publisher. Phil Spencer denied those reports when they were true.





#14 — A Matt Booty email revealed that Microsoft did not want to put their games on other Cloud gaming services​

“No Effin’ Way,” said Matt Booty.

vOLmninaBKNQg7DNMBiFeBZGPd-r-jbS_zy2WqW-UFvXRwXO8CnsOpR0eMIL3LgeDUlyuYIWELLB7LIK7TmUltYGKy7tOIGD1FZAZb8nI-XR14ywvNeHX0Gpf2zCcuiFbTpOA6-y5TjQWGV6TpKYk5Y


The email also shows Phil Spencer sending Nvidia an official notice to take down Xbox games.

Later, when regulators started cracking down on Activision’s acquisition, Microsoft offered deals to 5 cloud services.

It’s important to note that the CMA disregarded these deals (and blocked the acquisition), saying that these deals were just to get the acquisition cleared. It is safe to assume that they made their decision after reading that email.



#15 — Phil Spencer had already decided in 2021 to make ALL Zenimax games exclusive​

This is despite reduced accountability margins.

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Despite the decision already made, Phil Spencer continued saying that games will be decided “on a case-by-case basis,” including during the FTC hearing in the court.

Phil’s statement during the recent FTC hearing.





#16 — Phil stopped Tim Stuart from publicly saying that all Zenimax games would be exclusive​



The above “conversation” that Phil is referring to is this interview by Tim Stuart at the Jeffries Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference:

https://www.ign.com/articles/xbox-bethesda-first-better-best



#17 — Phil Spencer lied in court about Elder Scrolls 6’s exclusivity​

Hx_24qHBl8Wq93SdydX5F2jZ9c53nScXPIwilfiMnyzkzSkObOeew46MuNfcYRXqnUGjEyEUc3uDKCMHQGCfO7ezycLPm_Uvp6FvELWIdLXWVK6TRz4Pa4eRJTx6h_7CjXtAn9FQGx7WWh5WUu23m3o


FTC lawyers later read Phil’s prior deposition in which he confirmed that Elder Scrolls 6 had been internally confirmed as an exclusive.





#18 — Microsoft wanted to make Minecraft Dungeons exclusive to Xbox​

VdLGNlJsmC9_IkggxLL9QN5u-DgY257iBrPi8WhD1wUHGdE2Vc-qaG6WSXDgAuOum61ATOPnEFwlN2SlcPEGt9QB-M-ACxNXO3p5sRHK4J4hgfuhAbDjffv0V46T9fMfMPOuN8LOKBc6tIOf_5FLaQI


Phil’s internal email, read in court, showed that he was “frustrated” that Minecraft Dungeons is multiplatform because of the original contract.

He asked his team to “find ways” to make it exclusive.

Xbox CMO emails Phil, “This [Minecraft Dungeons] should be exclusive.”

Phil replied, “I agree.”



#19 — Phil Spencer on Xbox fans evangelizing xCloud​

-L0FRoj96M_w2VyiGss2ycwJ53WRa72t9LTZu1IEgXs1_29s9NQ1w7FntXjyZesag-TlsqnbDiU6TXdvmJDHlp4Z7IKfg_slyBpNsQfkmy9K6mDezt5WAoDZAeBgZgiTRxQNPVUIv6ujsVw2YxxF03M

Source: IGN



#20 — Microsoft amended the contracts to make Indiana Jones exclusive​

-MBu2G8YXwHBpa447qe3vnKvXO1boppwpwwjCMd-kB8i0gX0muiO9vkGkWIg5hCN5SHHOvX3XJgVQokKOBtJIKbJzYJGoxs2Nw76P61T6m4zCrYZLJSgXCYh6pzR647Gx4Rs4EPqKc0yOuyxqClQ48g


The original contract between Disney and Bethesda included PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

After Zenimax’s acquisition, Microsoft reached out to Disney, amended the contract, and made Indiana Jones exclusive to Xbox/PC and removed PlayStation.



#21 — Microsoft has already considered making Activision games exclusive.​

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In addition, the internal emails also revealed that Tim Stuart was working on an analysis model that measured how much revenue Activision would lose if we made ABK games exclusive and the potential increase in Xbox console sales and Game Pass subscribers needed to offset that revenue.





#22 — Xbox missed its revenue target by over $780 million.​

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Phil Spencer also confirmed that the Xbox division is not meeting its internal targets.



And the business is not strong.





#23 — Phil Spencer proposed the idea of shutting down Xbox, in 2019.​

Also calls Xbox “Polaroid.”

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#24 — Of all consoles sold in 2021, Xbox had a 16% market share​

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#25 — Phil Spencer’s email on August 26, 2022, rang “alarm bells” for Jim Ryan​

Here is that complete email exchange between Jim Ryan and Phil Spencer.

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CqvT-xMDIRdaRg4YN-t9PTlWj0Rhek_n5n2ezHc_NnxXtofDISmtrbsuDhw5gvvvejlNdnfeS9nSAUNSunsWAD3hPVbS8umgFWMOZ-NrwN7hAeMqHNtQZ4lD3V0FYp3xNIglKkjbBuPDAGiyj0nXyF4




#26 — Phil Spencer offered Jim Ryan only old and select new games as part of the ABK agreement​

According to Jim Ryan, Phil Spencer sent a list of games that Microsoft would keep multiplatform after the acquisition, but that list was “inadequate” and only had “old games.”

According to Jim, Overwatch 1 was included in that list, but Overwatch 2 was not.

pu8SzLMoX8AzUsNfmVQT8XUmL2k0gH7iKnaLE2fAg0sJXOn-8DweATjB7POsAnRTyd8_8i7p1EOWrUCSlOkl1Xfksl9f9LcEEX7v7Wh1jU9hCsaEvsjtMMr5EOQA9SyBX5USdMrAECRuK4avMVHUEBs


Source: The Verge



#27 — Microsoft’s internal document shows they treat Cloud as a separate market​

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This goes against their regulatory arguments that Cloud gaming is only a feature and not a separate market.



#28 — Satya Nadella also called Cloud gaming a separate market​

From Satya Nadella’s testimony in court.





#29 — Microsoft’s leadership discards Nintendo when looking at Xbox's success metrics​

CgLdt9ZMI0X7aaWwqbbN9H5e8NrPA-8WQWjlAGHv-aG_GH9sDqW8BAUtQaLi0X38mSoNfwcAM-O-dA2qkrT_OOLawA3PiBdJ2C75dv0XpEqj2amJMNsQHo7A4zfB2WpRmSLompewtaIEypLwJE1dBeQ


FYI — SLT refers “Senior Leadership Team” that includes top executives such as Satya Nadella, Phil Spencer, Amy Hood, Tim Stuart, and Sarah Bond.



#30 — Microsoft did no strategic or financial analysis before making the Nintendo COD deal​

Xbox CFO Tim Stuart confirmed this.



This was interesting because (1) Microsoft was advertising COD’s availability to 150+ million gamers, and (2) Microsoft told the courts that they select platforms and exclusivity of each title based on detailed strategic and financial analysis.



#31 — Microsoft did not consult Activision before making the Nintendo/COD deal, Bobby Kottick revealed​





#32 — Microsoft tried to buy “Zynga.” Take-Two purchased Zynga later.​

YDoRlqSYzH64O2lDy1pT8t-TLYgIEnxaix9ZINnWwe7iQmuEmGbpaw5TK46HAxncK5RCBI-cf2F3-gCBlOa-oz01kAH_Hj5qJvg6SFmucAICicD1KKHejlzLFULnWZiE7RlVMiPAmg6KftmupVEAhu4


Phil Spencer said that they thought they need someone even bigger. That’s where Activision-Blizzard-King came into the picture.



#33 — Microsoft agreed to 80/20 revenue splits for Call of Duty​

Instead of the usual 70% revenue, Microsoft agreed to give ABK 80% of revenue on every COD game sale on Xbox.

Microsoft did so because they thought it was “critical to get Call of Duty on Xbox.”

oDdZr48trsTcs4FthH8nolx0IXFBtCnyCNSpE2Jcf2Hf2oNv3hN2abgj3W2Urcj6tG9VHFOguUet7L569WBLJLSyz_NV1TyiasGbnElfEGMqHgpvOPCg0YhGIT4C5kzDlgZYhtSnf9Rq7_jyRi7RXHg




#34 — Microsoft bought Ninja Theory for $117 million in 2018.​

7gCAo637GNkhpSB-raDUNJdKUFd9vbCHOyHO-oc-tk7pBSKyI4WFeu3Zidau5a8qMSlYaPWclMSbdx4UebTsnXrRzAh015VFV-NiDPokZYT0daHMEAamFWKOpAi5AqDqb0AgoTMH8qBTcYD5MRVMawI




ACTIVISION-BLIZZARD-KING

#35 — Kottick regrets not bringing COD to Switch​

https://www.theverge.com/e/23541088

After watching the prototype, Kottick didn’t think Nintendo Switch would be a big success. “I made a bad judgment,” Kottick said.

Kottick intends to change that and bring COD to Switch 2.





#36 — Kottick is open to bringing COD to Switch and Cloud without Microsoft​

As long as the commercial terms make sense.



Looney Tunes Nothing To See Here GIF

Seriously SAW This also on Gaf.

Super well done thread sir! I can see a ton of work went into this, very well laid out, bullet points!

Seriously If I could gift something to you I would.

Keep up the great content bud.
 
OP
OP
Heisenberg007

Heisenberg007

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Seriously SAW This also on Gaf.

Super well done thread sir! I can see a ton of work went into this, very well laid out, bullet points!

Seriously If I could gift something to you I would.

Keep up the great content bud.
Thank you for the kind words, sir!
 
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Swolf712

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Point #1 is gonna be overlooked and blown out of proportion, but one thing I noticed is this.

One of the Xbox fan rallying cries has been how Jim "cried and threw a fit" once Xbox started 'fighting back with exclusives' and yet... here he is saying that he's not happy about it, but doesn't see that as anti-competitive.

And while people are somehow trying to paint that as out of step with his ActiBliz stance (it's not, at all) I can't help but notice how that's actually a very consistent position with how this industry has run for decades? And that he's not crying about "exclusives"? Which would mean that the "hypocrite" angle doesn't hold water?

Like that is the #1 talking point I hear tossed around even from supposed "neutrals" and "non-fanboys" and yet, there it is, exposed as a lie. And yet somehow I still see it thrown around on social media.

Even the so-called "gamer" pages on Facebook are spreading that and it's just plain ridiculous.
 
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A Matt Booty email revealed that Microsoft did not want to put their games on other Cloud gaming services &​

Microsoft wanted to make Minecraft Dungeons exclusive to Xbox ... Wow I missed those revelations how anyone can defend these complete c you next Tuesday's is beyond me​

 
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anonpuffs

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Point #1 is gonna be overlooked and blown out of proportion, but one thing I noticed is this.

One of the Xbox fan rallying cries has been how Jim "cried and threw a fit" once Xbox started 'fighting back with exclusives' and yet... here he is saying that he's not happy about it, but doesn't see that as anti-competitive.

And while people are somehow trying to paint that as out of step with his ActiBliz stance (it's not, at all) I can't help but notice how that's actually a very consistent position with how this industry has run for decades? And that he's not crying about "exclusives"? Which would mean that the "hypocrite" angle doesn't hold water?

Like that is the #1 talking point I hear tossed around even from supposed "neutrals" and "non-fanboys" and yet, there it is, exposed as a lie. And yet somehow I still see it thrown around on social media.

Even the so-called "gamer" pages on Facebook are spreading that and it's just plain ridiculous.
I've noticed a rule of thumb is that whenever you see these bots get their marching orders and talking points to slander other companies, especially Sony, it's usually some behavior that Microsoft is itself engaging in and they want to deflect attention onto others. They always point the finger but there's 4 fingers pointing back, ironic that an elementary school idiom applies to elementary-school-level fanboys.
 

Nhomnhom

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25 Mar 2023
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I've noticed a rule of thumb is that whenever you see these bots get their marching orders and talking points to slander other companies, especially Sony, it's usually some behavior that Microsoft is itself engaging in and they want to deflect attention onto others. They always point the finger but there's 4 fingers pointing back, ironic that an elementary school idiom applies to elementary-school-level fanboys.
Yep, they usually preemptive accuse Sony of what they are doing themselves.

"Sony wants to go grow by making Xbox smaller" - while behind the scenes they are targeting Sony partner's to remove those games from PlayStation.

"Sony is paying to stop games from being on Gamepass" - turns out MS is the one that pays for games to not be on PS+ while Sony usually doesn't care.

"Sony was going to make Starfield exclusive" - spends $7B to buy Bethesda and make all their games including Starfield exclusives.

"Accuses the Japanese market from rejecting Xbox because it's american" - starts pushing some crazy anti-Japanese narrative in the US the following weeks.