The acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft has become one of the biggest soap operas in the history of video games, mainly due to the opposition of sony. Although it seemed at first that the company of Japanese origin was managing to impose its arguments, the Redmond giant has been able to better read the situation to make the winds now blow in its favor. This has been influenced by events such as the agreements reached by Microsoft with Nintendo and cloud gaming platforms to guarantee the multiplatform status of at least some of the most prominent Activision-Blizzard titles.
However, and despite the fact that the United States and the European Union have opened up to accept Microsoft’s arguments, the person in charge of Windows is managing, at least in appearance, to soften the position of the UK Competition and Markets Authority, CMA in his initials in English. The British antitrust regulator, unlike its American and European counterparts, has not been convinced by the arguments put forward so far by Microsoft, which has had to present a new letter to justify its position.
The CMA has collected that the owner of Windows has suggested the following in view of the possibility that Call of Duty will stop appearing on Sony consoles: “Microsoft considers that a period of 10 years is long enough for Sony, as a leading publisher and console platform, to develop alternatives to Call of Duty.…The 10-year term will be extended to the next generation of consoles… In addition, the practical effect of the remedy will go beyond the 10-year period, since games downloaded in the last year of the remedy can be played during the lifetime of the that console (and beyond with backwards compatibility).”
Microsoft’s stance appears to be an indirect reference to Sony’s purchase of Bungie and Guerrilla Games, the developer behind the Killzone shooters and Horizon adventure games. However, Call of Duty does have a rival, Battlefield, which in terms of audiences does not even shadow the well-known Activision saga. In other words, Sony has plenty of means to create an alternative to Call of Duty, but another thing is that it manages to compete at the player level, especially seeing that Battlefield doesn’t make it.
Between the changes of position on the part of the CMA is the fact that it now believes that the exclusive of Call of Duty on Xbox would cause substantial losses to Microsoft, or in other words, that it is not convenient for the corporation, largely because the transfer of PlayStation players is not guaranteed. However, although at the console level it has reconsidered its position, The same cannot be said about cloud platforms, a sector in which Microsoft has a share of approximately 70%.. Here the CMA continues to believe that the purchase operation could harm rivals, even despite the agreements reached. Activision-Blizzard, for its part, believes that the CMA has “improved their understanding” of the situation.
Although Microsoft seems to have the winds in favor in the United States and the European Union, it must not be forgotten that the CMA was the authority that put the brakes on NVIDIA’s intentions to take over ARM. It is important to note that the latest suggestion from the Redmond giant is not an opinion from the CMA, which could finally give the green light to the purchase of Activision-Blizzard.