Sony’s PlayStation exclusivity practices are currently under scrutiny by the Romanian Competition Council (CCR). CCR is conducting an in-depth investigation into the company’s policy of linking games to its own digital store, the PlayStation Store. This strategy makes it impossible for third-party distributors to sell game codes. The CCR considers that this practice could constitute an abuse of Sony’s dominant position on the video game console market. Indeed, this reduces purchasing options for consumers and could lead to higher prices for PlayStation-compatible video games.
The JRC is not taking this matter lightly. The organization even carried out inspections at Sony’s European headquarters as part of its investigation. The aim of these inspections is to determine whether PlayStation’s exclusivity practices unfairly monopolize the industry. It should be noted that this investigation comes at a time when PlayStation is trying to prevent Xbox’s merger with Activision Blizzard. PlayStation fears that the Call of Duty franchise will become a console exclusive as a result of this merger.
An example of PlayStation’s exclusivity strategies was highlighted at its recent presentation, which featured over 30 games. However, some of these games are not really exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Xbox was quick to point this out after the presentation. Depending on the results of the JRC survey, it’s possible that future PlayStation games will become cheaper and more widely available.
This raises important questions about competition in the video game industry. If CCR’s allegations are true, this could have major implications for the way Sony and other video game companies manage their exclusives in the future. This could also lead to greater transparency and more diversified purchasing options for video game consumers.