Microsoft's popularity meter must be registering at an all-time low right now.
In the past, the company has been accused of buying off developers and publishers to erase exclusive franchises for Sony. Now it seems they're doing it again, only it's even more blatant and embarrassing this time around.
In fact, the company is rumored to have spent around $1 billion in game investments and now, NeoGAF poster famousmortimer (who accurately leaked the PS4's launch lineup before the PlayStation Meeting in February) has heard more nastiness: It seems MS is spending a ton of money to keep publishers from showing their games running on the PS4 at E3 2013:
"I’ve talked to more people since then though and this isn’t the usual jostling for publishers on stage that happens at E3. Microsoft is throwing BIG money around to reverse course on idea that they aren’t a games console. The rumors are that PS4 versions of multiplats, by those who do take the money, won’t be shown AT ALL. Not on stage and not on the show floor."
For the record, Microsoft has canceled their roundtable discussion at E3 and they've also been canceling one-on-one interviews with various publications. Obviously, this leads one to the belief that they're sticking only with friendly sources as they don't want to risk incurring further public damage. famousmortimer also says Microsoft secured an exclusive partnership with Insomniac Games, who is now independent but once produced games exclusively for the PlayStation platform. There's also talk of Mirror's Edge 2 and Hawken being Xbox One exclusives.
If Microsoft can pay EA enough to make any one of their franchises exclusive to the Xbox One, Sony could be in trouble. I don't think anyone expected MS to be spending that kind of money. Of course, with reports like these getting a lot of attention, Microsoft isn't exactly in a great position, either. In fact, people are getting pissed .
Canceling the E3 roundtable? Cowards.