Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty has encouraged CFO Tim Stuart to spend big on game content in 2019 to prepare the company to battle Sony in game subscriptions. This is evidenced by an email that became part of the hearing in the case of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Microsoft, writes The Verge.
“We (Microsoft) are in a very unique position to be able to go spend Sony out of business,” said Booty in a December 2019 email, referencing spending $2 billion or $3 billion in 2020 to avoid competitors getting ahead in content at a later date.
Booty called the content a moat and noted that only Sony can really compete with Xbox Game Pass.
“In games, Google is 3 to 4 years away from being able to have a studio up and running. Amazon has shown no ability to execute on game content. Content is the one moat that we have, in terms of a catalog that runs on current devices and capability to create new. Sony is really the only other player who could compete with Game Pass and we have a 2 year and 10 million subs lead,” wrote Matt Booty.
Microsoft said the letter is out of date and the company has never used this strategy.
“This email is three and a half years old and predates the announcement of our acquisition by 25 months,” explained Microsoft’s general manager of public affairs, David Cuddy. “It refers to industry trends we never pursued and is unrelated to the acquisition.”
We remind you that since the writing of this letter, Microsoft has acquired Bethesda for $7.5 billion and is trying to conclude a deal with Activision Blizzard for $ 68.7 billion. The FTC opposes this deal and calls for temporarily blocking it.