Microsoft is aiming to finalize its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the publisher of popular first-person shooter game, Call of Duty, on 13th October, pending approval from the UK’s antitrust regulator.
According to a report from The Verge, Microsoft received preliminary approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority last month after Activision agreed to sell its streaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment.
The deadline for the deal was previously extended to October 18th to allow for more time to secure approval from the UK. Both companies have not yet responded to requests for comment.
What the Microsoft-Activision Deal Could Mean for Gamers.
Microsoft made the offer to acquire Activision in January 2023. CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer, posted that “Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play.”
However, news of the ongoing negotiations has garnered mixed reactions from gamers on X (formerly Twitter), with some commenters being in favour, while others expressed fears that Microsoft was trying to monopolise the gaming market by buying Activision.
The reason being that Activision’s games could become Microsoft and Xbox exclusives meaning PlayStation (PS) players will not get access to Activision’s games. Well aware of that, Vice Chairman of Microsoft, Brad Smith, offered terms of a 10-year deal for access to COD to Japanese gaming company, Sony, which produces the PlayStation 5 console, which serves as the main rival for Microsoft’s Xbox Series S consoles.
Brad Smith’s tweet about Microsoft being ready to offer Sony a 10-year deal shows that the software company may have no intention of monopolising the gaming market.
Should the Activision acquisition deal be successful, it would be the largest acquisition in the gaming industry, and will add Activision Blizzard to the 23 game developing companies already owned by Microsoft, combining Microsoft’s presence in the console market with Activision Blizzard’s other popular titles such as World of Warcraft.