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Xbox bluffing about pulling games from UK, report claims

Sam Cawley

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Xbox bluffing about pulling games from UK, report claims

Featured Image Credit: Activision Blizzard, Microsoft

A new report claims Xbox was pretending it’d remove Activision Blizzard games from the UK market, in an attempt to bluff the FTC.

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Xbox’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard hasn’t experienced smooth sailing, facing constant pushbacks and blocks from various sources.

Check out the first campaign mission from Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare III.

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In the end, Microsoft won the battle with the FTC to acquire the company, but is yet to finalise the deal due to a few loose ends.

Prior to the legal battle though, it was claimed that Xbox/Microsoft were considering pulling Activision Blizzard games, namely Call Of Duty, out of the UK market following a block from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). While many shrugged it off, experts warned it was a genuine possibility, as it’d allow the company to rush the deal through without the need for CMA’s approval.

Things escalated when the FTC launched the legal battle, claiming the Xbox/Activision Blizzard deal would be harmful to competition, citing games like Starfield as evidence following protests from PlayStation fans who can’t play the game.

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Now, a new report suggests Microsoft carefully laid out a trap for the FTC, using the threat of no more Activision Blizzard games in the UK as bait.

Insiders told Bloomberg that Microsoft never planned on pulling the games from the UK market at all, or finalise the deal without the CMA’s approval first. This suggests that Microsoft merely stated they were considering it to force the FTC into a legal battle before it was adequately prepared.

This tactic seemingly succeeded as the FTC was unable to prove why the acquisition would be harmful to competition in the gaming industry.

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Xbox has also made it abundantly clear that it has no plans to make big-name franchises like Call Of Duty exclusive to Xbox consoles, and has even signed an agreement with PlayStation to keep future titles on all platforms for the time being.

While it seems like it’ll be smooth sailing from this point onward, fans may still have a long wait until they see the deal’s effects reflected through Xbox practices. Many are patiently waiting for Activision titles to make their way onto Xbox Game Pass, especially old Call Of Duty titles, some of which have had their multiplayer servers reactivated.

While the future is unclear for the deal, it’ll definitely be something to keep an eye on for new developments.

Topics: Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Xbox, Activision

Sam Cawley
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