Xbox and Activision: UK investigates with antitrust, Microsoft reassures Sony and competitors

Xbox and Activision: UK investigates with antitrust, Microsoft reassures Sony and competitors

Even the United Kingdom moves more actively to investigateacquisition of Activision Blizzard on the part of Microsoft, and the concern about a possible anti-competitive situation has prompted an enlargement of the investigations through the CMA British (Competition and Markets Authority). Meanwhile, Microsoft’s response has also arrived which, in fact, tries to reassure Sony and other competitors on the desire not to remove games from other platforms.

The action of the CMA in the United Kingdom was prompted by the answers given by the companies questioned on the matter and it is not difficult to imagine that Sony is among those that most prompted the competent bodies to act more in depth in the investigations, as had also emerged from the other surveys. made in other countries.

“Following Phase 1 of our investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft may use its control over popular games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft after the acquisition for harm their rivalsincluding those that are in competition between subscription services and cloud gaming, “said Sorcha O’Carroll of the British CMA (also quoting in a rather bizarre way World of Warcraft, which has always been limited to the PC platform only).

“If our concerns are not resolved, we plan to explore this agreement in a more in-depth Phase 2, to reach a decision that will work in the interests of players and insiders in the UK.”

This Phase 2 provides for an independent external commission that will have to analyze the situation in more detail and assess whether the acquisition is intended to harm competitors. For its part, Microsoft has published a long letter from Phil Spencer to respond to this new investigation and try to reassure Sony, competitors and competent bodies about their intentions.

In fact, the letter reaffirms the vision already expressed previously by Microsoft, namely the desire to broaden the potential audience of Activision Blizzard games by bringing them “to everyone” and “everywhere”. More precisely, Phil spencer reports precisely that Call of Duty and the other known games of Activision Blizzard however, they will also be released on day one on PlayStation and the other platforms provided, pointing out that the same thing also happened with Minecraft.

After confirming that the idea is to bring all Activision Blizzard games to Xbox Game Pass, the head of Microsoft Gaming also reported that “As we said earlier, we are committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation. on the same day the game launches elsewhere. We will continue to have people play with each other on different platforms and different devices. We know the benefits of this approach because we have done the same thing with Minecraft, which continues to be available on multiple platforms and has expanded even further since Mojang joined Microsoft in 2014. “

He also added that “as we extend our catalog to new devices and platforms, we will make sure we do so in a way that protects developers’ ability to choose how to distribute their games.”

What emerges as the most likely scenario, based on these statements, is therefore the idea that many have made at this point about the future of Activision Blizzard games under Microsoft, or that the main series that already have a large audience also on other platforms will continue to be cross-platform, but the substantial difference will be given by the launch on day one on Xbox Game Pass and probably by the traditional release, at full price, at the stores of the other platforms. It is not excluded, however, that further differentiations are envisaged, without prejudice to the possibility that the main, basic games are still available at launch on all platforms.

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