Microsoft has released an open letter about its future company policies.
The company indicates that the text has been developed “in part to address Microsoft’s increasing role and responsibility as we are beginning the process of seeking regulatory approval in capitals around the world for our acquisition of Activision Blizzard.”
Microsoft is committed to adapting to new laws aimed at promoting competition, especially in app markets. Much of the text is devoted to the principles that will guide the Microsoft Store to ensure free competition.
Further on, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a $70 billion deal announced last January, is discussed. The Redmond company understands that this purchase may raise doubts among regulators, so it wanted to make two points clear.
The first is that “Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular titles available on PlayStation for the duration of the existing agreements with Activision” but they have also committed to Sony to “make them continue to be available on PlayStation beyond the current agreements and into the future so Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love.” They also indicate that they are interested in taking similar steps to “support Nintendo’s successful platform.”
“We believe this is the right thing to do for the industry, for gamers and for our business.”
The second point has to do with the Xbox store itself. Microsoft points out that the laws being passed to regulate app stores on PCs and mobile devices do not take consoles into account, and they believe that with good reason, as “video game consoles, specifically, are sold to gamers at a loss to establish a robust and viable ecosystem for game developers. These costs are then recouped through revenues generated in the consoles’ dedicated store.”
Despite this lack of legislation, the same basic principles will apply to the Xbox store as to the Microsoft Store in almost every principle. The points from which the Xbox Store is left out are those related to “developer freedom”, such as the possibility of allowing third-party payment systems for in-game purchases, for example, although they assure that they will try to make both app stores more similar in the future.