In a lawsuit filed by a group of gamers against the Microsoft-Activision deal, it is alleged that Xbox executive Matt Booty once sent an email in which he talked about — or at least alluded to — wanting to put PlayStation out of business. The email is included in the legal filing but has been redacted for the public.
Did Xbox boss really say he wants to put PlayStation out of business?
The gamers’ lawsuit mentions “uncontroverted evidence that Microsoft had the intention to put its main competition, the Sony PlayStation, out of the market.” It then backs up this statement with an email from Booty that has become a point of contention in court. Microsoft is fighting to keep the email redacted because it is “an internal exchange.”
In a statement to Axios’ Stephen Totilo, Microsoft understandably refused to divulge contents of Booty’s email, but did confirm that he sent this email to CFO Tim Stuart in 2019, preceding the Microsoft-Activision deal. However, the following year in 2020, Microsoft did end up acquiring ZeniMax Media, making Bethesda games exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem. The Federal Trade Commission has expressed concerns that Microsoft will handle Activision Blizzard the same way it handled Bethesda.
Irrespective of Booty’s choice of words, it is understood that the email in question did discuss competition with PlayStation.