After over a year of uncertainty, there are new developments in Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The deal has been approved in most major regions, except for the UK where the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked it. Now, Microsoft has proposed changes involving Ubisoft to get approval.
According to CMA’s Chief Executive Sarah Cardell, the deal as originally proposed cannot proceed. However, Microsoft has notified the CMA of a restructured deal that is substantially different. In this new proposal, Activision’s cloud streaming rights outside of Europe will be sold to rival Ubisoft. This will enable Ubisoft to license Activision content to any cloud gaming provider. As a result, gamers will be able to access Activision titles through various cloud gaming services, including subscription platforms.
The CMA states this is not final approval. They will thoroughly evaluate the impact of the revised deal on competition in the growing cloud gaming market. Their goal remains to ensure open and effective competition that drives innovation and consumer choice.
So it seems that Ubisoft will in certain regions hold the rights for the Activision cloud streaming. This isn’t guaranteed to get the green light in the UK but it’s undoubtedly a positive step.
The Ubisoft Side Of The News
Ubisoft announced it on social media as their subscription service was expanding.
So the official post breaks it down into more detail. We get told that this “agreement includes the complete slate of current Activision Blizzard games, as well as all their new titles launching in the 15 years” All this after the closure of the Activision Blizzard acquisition.
The last question is, when is the deadline to get an answer from the CMA? They state that “this new investigation will be carried out in line with the CMA’s usual Phase 1 processes and the statutory deadline for a decision is 18 October 2023”. Meaning we are around eight weeks from that deadline.