- Microsoft will be required to transfer gaming rights to Paris-based video game publisher Ubisoft.
- Last year Satya Nadella said Microsoft’s purchase of Activision will usher in a new era in gaming.
- He also stated that gaming would play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.
Microsoft Corporation has cleared the final UK regulatory hurdle to acquire Activision Blizzard. The US tech giant announced in January 2022 its plans to buy the global video game developer and publishing company for $69 billion.
However, the process has faced multiple obstacles with both the US and UK antitrust authorities scrutinising its impact on competition in the market.
In July, Microsoft won its fight against the US Federal Trade Commission to buy Activision Blizzard. And now, with the UK authorities finally finding a way to clear the process, the Windows maker could be about to finally seal the deal.
However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has made changes to the initial proposal, as it now requires Microsoft to transfer gaming rights to the Paris-based video game publisher Ubisoft.
Brad Smith, a Microsoft executive, expressed optimism about the CMA’s latest statement saying: “We are encouraged by this positive development in the CMA’s review process. We presented solutions that we believe fully address the CMA’s remaining concerns related to cloud game streaming,” Bloomberg reported.
In the FTC case, Microsoft agreed to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 years on parity with Xbox and made an agreement with Nintendo to bring the game to Switch.
The tech giant has been forced to make some compromises in its bid to seal the ‘world’s largest gaming deal’ in history. When Microsoft first released a statement announcing its plans to buy Activision, CEO Satya Nadella lauded the purchase as industry-shaping, saying it would “usher in a new era in gaming”.
He also hinted at the company’s plans for the metaverse with the deal saying: “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”
Whether that remains one of the verticals the company will pursue remains to be seen, especially after the office software maker scrubbed its industrial metaverse division, laying off the entire unit of about 300 staff members.
The company, however, explained its decision stating that it merely chose to prioritise projects that are likely to start generating income sooner.
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