Little by little we are getting closer to the outcome of one of the most intense soap operas in regards to video games: Microsoft’s purchase of Activisionpreviously denied by the UK Government, has had the approval of the European Community. In this way, the operation receives one of the most important endorsements facing the final goal; even if it is not going to be cheap for Microsoft: Europe will impose serious conditions on it.
The video game scene is in full condensation of companies, not in vain the large distributors are gathering smaller developers on track to gain weight in the industry. In this field, there are two big firms that keep the cane ready: Sony, which is gaining studies for its PlayStation platform, and Microsoft, which does not want to lose ground in the face of increasingly tough competition. And one of the great movements in the sector continues to keep companies and players on edge: the purchase of Activision Blizzard. It’s still going long.
Microsoft gets backing for future acquisition
A process as important as the one between the two companies, and which ends up affecting all markets and millions of players, must pass under the magnifying glass of regulatory entities. We are just at this step: before seeing the Call of Duty franchise on platforms like Xbox Game Pass, a long and tumultuous legal road must follow.
Although Microsoft saw itself finally coming to fruition, with an Activision Blizzard finally settled within the gigantic catalog of developers and distributors that Xbox owners have, Europe still kept doubts about its final decision in suspense; that was positive with their respective nuances. Despite the fact that European regulators tend to be very harsh with large business movements that can affect competition, they have not seen major impediments in the operation.
The European Commission welcomes that Microsoft commit to opening the Activision Blizzard catalog to more platforms than its own. After the pertinent investigation that was carried out in European territory, the Commission assures that «Microsoft would have no incentive to refuse to distribute Activision Blizzard games». In this sense, and in line with what argued Sony to stop the purchase processPlayStation would continue to have access to games like those of the Call of Duty franchise, Activision Blizzard’s crown jewel.
European regulators do show concern about streaming platforms and the impact that an exclusive of Activision games could have on Xbox Game Pass. In this case, the European Commission proposes two solutions:
- A free license for consumers in the European territory which would allow them to stream, via any game streaming service of their choice, all current and future Activision Blizzard games for PC and console for which they are licensed.
- A free license corresponding to cloud game streaming service providers to allow players from the European territory stream any Activision Blizzard PC and console game.
This support for the purchase is a boost for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, although it is not the end of their long regulatory journey in the process of approval. We will see the next chapters in successive installments as the rest of the entities issue their judgments.
More information | European Comission
In Xataka Mobile | The best free mobile games of 2023