Xbox, Activision considering pulling games out of UK to close acquisition
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Featured Image Credit: Xbox, Activision
While the road leading to the deal’s closure has had a few bumps in it, Xbox and Activision have persevered with the journey’s end in sight, as long as they can overcome the UK. The deal has faced severe opposition by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), who believe the deal would hurt competition in the cloud-gaming market. A veto from the UK could be incredibly detrimental to the deal’s closure, and there are now reports that Xbox and Activision are considering drastic action to ensure the deal goes through, including removing games from UK markets.
Starfield is next up on Xbox'a major release slate.
This news comes from a Twitter post by PostUp_SOG who shared some of the conversations currently taking place behind the scenes. One of the options listed reads, “Activision exiting the UK for another European country in a bid to remove itself from the CMA's jurisdiction. Its games could continue to be sold via a distributor”.
Update: MS/ABK— Post Up (@PostUp_SOG) June 1, 2023
New and very interesting report from MLex:
- Microsoft executives are actively looking at ways to close the acquisition despite a UK veto on the deal, MLex has learned.
- The CMA currently has an interim order in place preventing Microsoft from acquiring "an…
This would essentially mean Activision Blizzard would vanish from the UK market entirely as a distributer, with gamers in the UK unable to purchase its games through official first-party means. It’s quite worrying but shows the team’s commitment to seeing the deal go through no matter what. Another option being considered is simply closing the deal regardless of the UK veto and entering a legal battle with the CMA, which could prove costly for Microsoft.
Despite everything, Xbox fans are confident that the deal will happen one way or another, without Activision games leaving the UK, believing gamers will be able to have their cake and eat it too. “They'll close with the UK customer base involved," one fan said, while another added, "The CMA doesn’t have that kind of power, not without the courts, and they are failing in that respect pretty miserably. This deal will close at some point in August or earlier if Judge smith allows it, which he will.” One fan wrote, "Sorry Sony [fans], if MS wants something, they get it, period.”
Another month, another round for the Xbox and Activision Blizzard deal, with progressing slowly being made in a long battle of attrition. Once the deal does go through, it’ll be a major win for Xbox, as hundreds of existing Activision Blizzard titles can make their way onto Xbox Game Pass, and it also opens the door for more Xbox exclusives further down the road. Xbox recently bolstered their exclusive line-up when they acquired Bethesda, with the major exclusive Starfield set to launch later this year.