The head of Microsoft's gaming division, Phil Spencer, revealed one of the key reasons for the acquisition of Bethesda Softworks.
Speaking at the hearing in the FTC case against the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal, the head of Xbox said that Sony regularly pays developers to bypass the Microsoft platform, and the company found it necessary to buy Bethesda in order to remain competitive.
"When we acquired ZeniMax, one of the triggers for this was that Sony made a deal for Deathloop and Ghostwire, paying Bethesda not to release these games on Xbox," Spencer said.
In addition, according to Spencer, they had received information that Starfield could potentially also skip the Xbox, so the company could not afford to further increase the backlog in content, and so being in third place among other platform holders.
"We had to provide ourselves with content to stay viable in the business." Most of Spencer's testimony was devoted to showing Sony as an aggressive and hostile competitor.
"Every time we release a game on PlayStation, Sony gets 30 percent of our revenue on its platform, and then it uses that money along with its other revenue to try to reduce the chances of Xbox surviving in the market.
We are trying to compete, but, as I said, over the past 20 years we have not been able to achieve this in an effective way."
Microsoft bought ZeniMax in 2021 for $7.5 billion, and in the case of Activision Blizzard, the deal is estimated at $68.7 billion.