Activision and Microsoft are buying Saga, Blizzard took a wild turn

News Summary:

  • “Xbox and PlayStation are now competing, and access to the most important content, like CoD, is an important part of that competition,” the CMA wrote in a press release. “Reducing this competition between Microsoft and Sony could result in all gamers seeing higher prices, reduced product lines, lower quality, and worse service on game consoles over time.”

  • Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick recently said on television that the UK would become “Death Valley” if he did not approve the $69 billion sale of the company to Microsoft. Now we know why. The country’s competition and markets agency announced tentative findings on Wednesday that the deal would threaten competition in the gaming market and even suggested that letting the merger If the import is approved, Activision Blizzard will have to sell its Call of Duty business first.

Regulators in particular have been trying to see what the acquisition might mean for the console and cloud markets. In either case, the CMA said its investigation found that Microsoft’s offering of Activision Blizzard games exclusively to its platform would be “commercially beneficial” or at least “worse.” materially” to competitors.

Divestment is a fancy word for sale, and the CMA has basically said that their current priority is for Microsoft to buy only part of Activision Blizzard and not the entire publisher, like the Candy Crush or World of Warcraft part, but definitely not the Call of Duty Part. “These are interim findings, meaning that the CMA puts its concerns in writing and both parties have an opportunity to respond,” Activision Blizzard spokesman Joseph Christinat told Kotaku in a statement. dad. “We hope that by April we will be able to help the CMA better understand our industry to ensure the CMA can fulfill its stated mission of fostering an environment where people can feel confident they have great options and fair deals, where fair and competitive business can innovate and grow, and where the UK’s wider economy can thrive efficient and sustainable development.

Microsoft has repeatedly said that it will not change the status of Call of Duty on PlayStation after the sale, even suggesting signing a 10-year agreement to do so. The deal will also include the ability for Sony to include Call of Duty in its own subscription service, PS Plus. But the CMA is not interested in those possibilities, which would require “monitoring and enforcement”. Instead, it offers “structural remedies” aimed at rooting out potentially anticompetitive mergers.

The massive merger has also been the subject of scrutiny within the European Union, as has the Federal Trade Commission’s high-profile antitrust case in the United States. In any case, dashboard exclusivity seems to be at the heart of regulators’ concerns. It doesn’t help that one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year, Starfield, was originally a cross-platform game before Microsoft acquired Bethesda and made it an Xbox Series X/S console exclusive.