Microsoft was ready to "spend Sony out of business" back in 2019

Xbox Series X/S
(Image credit: Xbox)

A Microsoft executive has revealed the company was ready to "spend Sony out of business" via an internal email sent back in 2019. 

As revealed during the ongoing FTC and Microsoft trial - which will decide the fate of the Xbox Activision Blizzard deal - an email exchange between Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty and Xbox CFO Tim Stuart reveals the company was once prepared to "spend Sony out of business." 

The majority of the email thread has been redacted, however, it does also feature Xbox CEO Phil Spencer, as well as other Microsoft executives including Amy Hood, Jarrett West, Chris Capossela, and Bill Duff.

"We (Microsoft) are in a very unique position to go spend Sony out of business," Booty's email reads. The rest of Booty's reply reveals that the exec wants to "avoid a situation where Tencent, Google, Amazon, or even Sony have become the Disney of games and own most of the valuable content," and that it "would have been worth it to lose $2B or $3B in 2020" to avoid it. 

Booty also discusses Google and Amazon's trajectory into the gaming market (bearing in mind this was said back in 2019) adding: "Google is three-to-four 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." 

Finally, Booty brings PlayStation into the mix by saying: "Sony is really the only other player who could compete with Game Pass and we have a two-year and 10M subs lead."

In a statement provided to The Verge, the general manager of public affairs at Microsoft, David Cuddy, tells the outlet: "This email is three-and-a-half years old and predates the announcement of our acquisition by 25 months. It refers to industry trends we never pursued and is unrelated to the [Activision] acquisition."

Elsewhere in the trial, the FTC declared the console war winners

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.