[Update] New information has come to light from Bloomberg that suggests that Microsoft got into the FTC lawsuit knowing full well that the Activision Blizzard deal could not be stopped. The reason for this was only to get UK’s CMA back into negotiations and possibly come to a reasonable conclusion. The CMA was forced into restarting talks because Microsoft bluffed about the possibility of Xbox and its related services leaving the entire region. There was no actual plan to halt operations in the UK, the aim was simply the creation of an opportunity for renegotiations.
[Original Story] Microsoft is very close to finally being able to close the deal with Activision Blizzard after months of opposition from all sides. The only hurdle remaining in Microsoft’s path is UK’s CMA, and it seems Microsoft might have figured out a way to alleviate the CMA’s concerns regarding the Activision Blizzard merger by using the French video game giant, Ubisoft. And now, according to Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, announced that Microsoft has made a new plan that should make the merger possible globally.
According to UK’s CMA, Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard is anti-consumer because of Microsoft’s streaming monopoly in the gaming space. Everywhere else in the world, the matter has been considered and resulted in the deal going forward on all fronts. But even so, both Microsoft and the CMA agreed that they wanted the deal to somehow go through.
Microsoft Making the CMA Happy by Giving Activision Streaming to Ubisoft
To allay the CMA’s concerns, Microsoft will not allow the streaming of Activision Blizzard’s titles on its own platforms. Instead, the streaming rights for Activision Blizzard games will be given to Ubisoft for the next 15 years. Ubisoft has been quite vocal about how it encourages mergers similar to what Activision has gone for, and leaks have been suggesting a Tencent buyout for the Assassin’s Creed developer.
The future of Activision Blizzard games, at least when it comes to streaming, will be part of Ubisoft’s paid streaming service, Ubisoft+. This is a win-win for both Microsoft and Ubisoft, since not only will this allow the deal to finally be completed, but Ubisoft’s streaming platform will finally get some more games and players on it if all goes well.
This is good news for those who prefer to stream their games. Because you can easily get Ubisoft+ on Xbox for an extra fee, and the service also works with Amazon Luna. We won’t have to wait long to find out how the plan pans out because the CMA will let everyone know their opinion on Microsoft’s new partnership with Ubisoft by October 18.