B. Microsoft is trying to buy ailing publisher Activision Blizzard starting to hit some serious roadblocksthe software giant is forced to make some concessions to seal the deal.
One of these is a series of promises to competing platform owners that, should Microsoft be successful with its purchase, the bestseller call of Duty Series would remain on their systems (at least) for the next ten years. The offer was well received by Valve and professionally recognized by Nintendobut Sony, Microsoft’s main competitor in the console space, is reportedly not so enthusiastic.
Understandable on the part of Sony! They have the most to lose if the Activision sale goes through, and Microsoft knows it Because of this, they’re becoming more common – and more public – in their frustration with PlayStation.
Some of that frustration could be explained through this new report about Bloombergwhat does that say in addition to the promise call of Duty Games would remain on PlayStation as standalone retail titles for at least the next decade (and arrive the same day as other systems), Microsoft also told Sony that the series could be offered through the PlayStation Plus subscription service.
Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service has dramatically changed the video game landscape in recent years, and many people just assumed that putting the call of Duty Series on Xbox’s subscription platform – at Sony’s expense – would have been one of the driving forces behind the entire Activision purchase in the first place.
So this report, if true, certainly comes as a surprise. It’s important to note that this isn’t a new addition to the promise made to sweeten the deal for a reluctant rival; According to Bloomberg, the Play Station Plus aspect was part of the original 10-year deal, which Sony is clearly not happy with (made an offer when Microsoft’s original 3-year promise was kicked back).
The FTC are also not happy with Microsoft’s attempts to buy Activision. Also, the European Union, which has launched “a full investigation” into the proposed deal, say in a statement:
The Commission’s preliminary investigation shows that the merger may significantly impede competition in the markets for the distribution of console and PC video games, including multi-game subscription services and/or cloud game streaming services, and PC operating systems.
The preliminary investigation indicates that Microsoft may have the ability and potential economic incentive to engage in foreclosure strategies against Microsoft’s competing console video game distributors.
In the UK, meanwhile, there is the Competition and Markets Authority Also investigating the deal, saying the concentration “is likely to result in a significant reduction in competition in one or more UK markets for goods or services.”