Microsoft To Propose Deal To Allow Activision Titles On Other Platforms For 10 Years
Microsoft is reportedly all set to propose a new deal to the CMA and European Commission, which would thereby allow all future Activision titles to release on all platforms for a 10 year period.
According to UK-based specialist news service, Equity Report, Microsoft is looking to propose a package to European Commission, and likely the CMA, that will compromise the availability of a ten-year license for all Activision Blizzard King games on competing platforms. The remedy is said to be marked tested, and the software giant expects the acceptance of a majority of the market with one or two exceptions.
Microsoft believes that the aforementioned exceptions shouldn’t be enough to block the deal from going through, and that it would, therefore, go forward with a conditional clearance. The European Commission’s primary concern is with regards to the competition being reduced in the markets for the distribution of console/PC games and PC operating systems. The administrative body does not appear to have concerns in relation to cloud gaming.
One lawyer following the case noted that the European Commission had previously accepted similar remedies last year in Meta’s acquisition of Kustomer. However, they expect a much higher degree of opposition from the CMA, which, according to them, has left the door “barely open”.
Meanwhile, another Brussels-based lawyer also believes that the remedies offered by Microsoft will be enough to get acceptance from the European Commission. They do not expect the final decisions made by the European Commission and the CMA to be fundamentally inconsistent. On the matter of Call of Duty, the lawyer dismissed concerns regarding the franchise, as, according to them, recent acquisitions in the audio-visual sector, such as the 21st Century Fox, didn’t focus on single money-making franchises.
The Brussels-based lawyer also stated that Microsoft is offering provisions in order to ensure that Call of Duty titles will receive the same offers and discounts and offers on PlayStation that it will receive on Xbox platforms. Moreover, any new entry in the series will be available on PlayStation consoles at the same time as their Xbox release.
With regards to a concern raised by Google, as per which the merger may create a Windows-centric environment, whereby developers would be forced to write for Windows, the Brussels-based lawyer stated that the European Commission had found that it didn’t make sense.
A third lawyer stated that the European Commission had identified several competition concerns, and they don’t see how making Call of Duty available on other consoles will solve other issues.
Meanwhile, VGC’s Andy Robinson paints a rather grim picture for Xbox, should the Activision Blizzard King acquisition not go through. According to him, Regardless of what the Microsoft Gaming CEO, Phil Spencer, has stated on the matter, a lot of industry pundits believe the software giant selling off Xbox is a genuine possibility in the event that the acquisition is blocked. However, he added that he does expect the deal to go through with concessions.
The CMA remains the primary hurdle in the UK for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. Based on the above information, however, it currently appears that the European Commission and China may approve the deal.