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Xbox traded a major exclusive to get Activision Blizzard deal cleared

Dan Lipscombe

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| Last updated 

Xbox traded a major exclusive to get Activision Blizzard deal cleared

Featured Image Credit: Activision

A deal has finally been made allowing Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard, but it comes with a hefty cost. Microsoft had to relinquish the rights to cloud gaming technology, which will now be given to Ubisoft.

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As a final push, Microsoft have relinquished the cloud gaming capabilities of Activision Blizzard in order to finally push the deal through with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The decision was made back in August 2023 and sees Ubisoft take the reins instead with the rights lasting for 15 years.

Call of Duty will now be owned by Microsoft

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Until now the deal was being blocked by the CMA as they believed that the purchase would see Microsoft "locking up competition in cloud gaming as this market takes off." It's down to the CMA to ensure prices stay competitive and they have kept Microsoft at bay for months.

Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA said this "We delivered a clear message to Microsoft that the deal would be blocked unless they comprehensively addressed our concerns and stuck to our guns on that."

The sale of of Activision's cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft will "prevent the distribution of important, popular content - including games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch and World of Warcraft."

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This was followed by Martin Coleman, Chair of the Independent Panel who reviewed the deal, saying "Cloud gaming is an important new way for gamers to access games and this deal could have seriously undermined its poteential development."

This is a big loss to Microsoft who would have wanted the deal to go through with previous stipulations, but now the deal will go ahead they have the opportunity to put Activision Blizzard games on their Game Pass subscription service from 2024.

This move will not only secure future titles, including the yearly updates to Call of Duty, but will also open up the possibilities of adding older Activision Blizzard titles to Game Pass which will surely bolster the subscription's user base.

Topics: Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Call Of Duty

Dan Lipscombe
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