UPDATE: Microsoft has officially announced its acquisition of Activision Blizard King today, accompanied by a welcoming trailer celebrating this eventful moment.
On Xbox Wire, the Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has officially welcomed Activision Blizzard King to Xbox Game Studios. “We love gaming. We play games, create games, and know first-hand how much gaming means to all of us as individuals and collectively, as a community,” according to Phil in a blog post on Xbox Wire. “today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox. They are the publishers of some of the most played and most beloved franchises in gaming history across console, PC and mobile. From Pitfall to Call of Duty, World of Warcraft to Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga to Farm Heroes Saga, their studios have pushed the boundaries of gaming for players around the world.”
Phil hints to have Activision Blizzard titles still be multiplatform in the years to come, “whether you play on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, PC or mobile, you are welcome here – and will remain welcome, even if Xbox isn’t where you play your favorite franchise. Because when everyone plays, we all win. We believe our news today will unlock a world of possibilities for more ways to play. Thank you for the ongoing support. We have so much more to come in the months ahead – I’m excited for the future and cannot wait to share it with you.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Microsoft won today as the UK’s Competitive Markets & Authority (CMA) approved the acquisition.
This approval by the UK’s CMA will now push Microsoft to complete its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft’s publisher.
“We’ve cleared the new deal for Microsoft to buy Activision without cloud gaming rights,” according to the UK’s CMA today on Twitter/X. “In August, Microsoft made a concession that would see Ubisoft, instead of Microsoft, buy Activision’s cloud gaming rights.”
Microsoft’s issue in the UK market was more on cloud gaming services than the issue of acquiring a huge franchise such as Call of Duty. Game Pass is undoubtedly a successful and popular subscription service; knowing that Activision Blizzard’s intellectual properties will enter the Game Pass library after the acquisition, it would put Microsoft at an unfair advantage. Hence the company had to submit a different proposal that would eventually sell Activision Blizzard’s cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft.
“This new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gamers,” the CMA continued in a following tweet.
On Twitter/X, the Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, shared he’s “grateful” for the “CMA’s thorough review and decision,” finally overcoming the final obstacle of the deal. “We have now crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry as a whole,” Smith’s closing remarks.
This acquisition will place Microsoft in a position where it may level the competition field with Sony and Nintendo regarding game sales as it will own big franchises such as Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft.
In the past few months, Microsoft went through rigorous processes, including going to court against the FTC and the UK’s CMA decision to block the deal that led the company to revise its regional plans.