Call Of Duty being banned in the UK 'can't be ruled out', expert warns
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The deal, worth $68.7 billion, began proceedings back in January 2022 and has made significant progress over the last few months, being signed off by several countries around the world. Once finalised, it would give Microsoft the power to make a variety of future Activision Blizzard games Xbox exclusives if desired.
Check our Warzone's brand new map below (and yes, it's not Warzone 2.0 anymore).
It would also allow existing Activision games to be added to the continuously expanding Xbox Game Pass subscription service. All in all, it’s an unprecedented deal of significant importance to the gaming industry. In an ideal world (for Microsoft at least), the whole thing would go smoothly, but unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
We recently reported that Activision is considering all options when it comes to finalising its deal with Xbox, including removing all of its games from the UK market. The deal was blocked by the UK's regulatory body, who said it would hurt competition in the gaming market. Now experts are warning that it’s becoming increasingly likely Call Of Duty, and other Activision series, could disappear from the UK if Activision chooses to ignore the block and proceed with the deal anyway.
This comes from Liam Deane, a principal analyst for research company Omdia. Deane said: "They would much, much rather reach some sort of compromise if that's possible … At the end it comes down to a question of the importance of the UK market versus the importance of the deal as a whole to Microsoft and Activision." Deane went on to say, "The UK market is pretty substantial, I think it's the fifth biggest games market in the world so it would be a pretty dramatic decision to pull out of that market."
It’s unlikely that Activision games will simply vanish from the UK market since, as Liam Deane said, the UK market is huge for gaming. If this did happen, Activision titles would have to be distributed in the UK by a third-party publisher. Hopefully, something works itself out soon.