Plans for the Xbox and Microsoft to acquire big-time video game company Activision Blizzard is a step closer to coming true as the European Commission has approved Microsoft’s proposal. As announced on the European Commission’s official website, they have provided all the intricate details of the deal. In the press release, the European Commission recognizes what Xbox acquiring Activision Blizzard means for the future of gaming. Moreover, the community is curious about what will happen: will Activision Blizzard still release their games on the PlayStation now that Xbox/Microsoft is acquiring them?
Will Activision Blizzard still release games on PlayStation after Xbox acquires them?
Microsoft announced their plans on acquiring Activision Blizzard a few years ago. Fast forward to now and the European Commission backed the tech giant’s proposal while also identifying the risks this acquisition poses towards its competitors in the video game market.
One of the most important questions being asked by the video game community is if Activision Blizzard will stop releasing their games on PlayStation if Xbox finally acquires them. This has also been discussed in the press release from the European Commission.
- After conducting an in-depth investigation, they found a potential problem with regard to cloud gaming. Microsoft Xbox willingly proposed remedies in order to make this acquisition possible.
- It will harm “competition in the distribution of PC and console games via cloud game streaming services.”
BREAKING: The EU has approved Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. pic.twitter.com/jgp7sCqckO
— Xbox News (@_XboxNews) May 15, 2023
- As a remedy, Microsoft promised that they would not have Activision Blizzard games exclusive to Game Pass Ultimate or the Xbox Cloud Gaming service. This solution will be effective for 10 years.
- What this means is that other cloud gaming platforms can still host Activision Blizzard games on their platforms without paying royalties.
- The decision to make Activision Blizzard games exclusive to the Xbox is also not on the table. According to the European Commission, it would only affect the profits of developers and publishers.
Activision Blizzard games will still be on the PlayStation
Some of the most popular Activision Blizzard franchises are Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo. The acquisition left PlayStation users worried since these games could become exclusive to Xbox consoles. Fortunately, the European Commission has identified that this wouldn’t be a problem.
The Commission also recognizes Sony as the leading distributor of console games all over the world. If Microsoft did plan on making future Activision Blizzard games exclusive to their platforms like the Xbox, it would leave a big dent in the profit of publishers and developers alike.
⚠️ Breaking ⚠️
The EU has approved/cleared the ABK acquisition by Microsoft 👀 🔥
The EU is open for business!
Will the UK end up without COD or Cloud? 😱pic.twitter.com/QvE26zFiIk
— 🇩🇴 Xbox_Serious_X|S 🇺🇸 (@Xbox_Series_XS) May 15, 2023
Of course, there is no telling if Microsoft has no plans of making Activision Blizzard games platform-exclusive. It all depends on how Microsoft plays out their strategy once this merger goes through.
- Some of the ways they could get the upper hand on Sony and PlayStation consoles is by delaying the release of Activision Blizzard games on other platforms.
- Another way is to include new releases in their Xbox Game Pass while offering the same releases on other platforms at full price.
- There are plenty of ways Microsoft can go about this deal, leaving other regulators undecided on this acquisition. Although many are expecting the acquisition to close in September 2023, Microsoft still faces a lot of hurdles before they can arrive at the finish line.
- On August 2, 2023, the United States Federal Trade Commission will go through with a hearing concerning the acquisition. To recap, they have made the move to sue and block the acquisition by taking it to court.
What are the challenges Microsoft is facing with this deal?
Aside from convincing other regulators to approve their proposal, Microsoft also has a lot on their plate. Here are some of the challenges they face along with their intentions of acquiring Activision Blizzard:
- Controversies surrounding Activision Blizzard. The video game company has a lot of controversies under its belt, including toxic workplaces and its CEO, Bobby Kotick. Since 2021, the company has faced backlash from employees and the video game community because of the internal problems they are dealing with.
- It’s unclear whether Kotick will remain the CEO if ever Xbox acquires Activision Blizzard.
Our CEO Bobby Kotick has shared an update on the European Commission's decision regarding our deal with @Microsoft.
Read the full update here: https://t.co/11aYt02wUv
— Activision Blizzard (@ATVI_AB) May 15, 2023
- Employees protest against the toxic workplace in Activision Blizzard. One of the most pressing issues that employees at Activision Blizzard are facing is the toxic workplace in the video game company. Over the past years, issue after issue involving Activision Blizzard’s handling of their employees has popped up.
Microsoft will have to deal with a lot if ever they acquire Activision Blizzard. Moreover, it could change the competitive landscape of video gaming if it happens. We’ll be sure to keep you posted once more news about the acquisition comes out.
What do you think of Xbox acquiring Activision Blizzard? What will its effects be on the other platforms? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below. For more content, stay with us here at Spiel Times.
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