Resident Evil Village‘s widespread accessibility is reportedly under threat by Sony.
Far and away one of this year’s most anticipated titles, Capcom’s long-awaited continuation of Ethan Winters’ story is, of course, a multi-platform affair akin to its predecessor, though it’s the aforementioned PlayStation manufacturer which has secured co-marketing rights for the sequel. Indeed, Village has consistently been a prominent part of digital broadcasts intended to showcase upcoming software for the PS5, with several demos even being completely absent from competing hardware in order to entice gamers into integrating themselves in the PlayStation ecosystem.
According to leaked (and currently unverified, though they certainly look legit) documents surfacing on Twitter earlier this week, the deal between both parties also prohibits the survival horror franchise from being distributed through certain avenues, including Xbox Game Pass.
While this is unlikely to be an everlasting prohibition, it means users of Microsoft’s hugely popular on-demand subscription service will have no other option than to pay full price to experience 2021’s first major release. This sets a dangerous precedent for third-party properties for which Sony has invested money in to advertise and comes no more than a week following huge outrage concerning MLB The Show 2021. For folks not aware of that debacle, the long-running sports series, despite being developed in-house for PlayStation, released for Xbox One and Series X|S earlier this month, debuting on Game Pass essentially for free, while those on the former were required to pay standard retail price.
Whether this is a direct response to that bad publicity or a clause that has always existed isn’t clear, but it’ll be interesting to see if instances of this anti-consumer practice emerge with future releases.
As for Resident Evil Village, the eighth mainline installment arrives May 7th for consoles and PC.