$69 billion Activision deal beneficial to gamers, says Microsoft • The Register

Microsoft has made its case against the US Trade Commission’s attempt to thwart its massive purchase of game developer Activision Blizzard, claiming the deal would be good for consumers.

“The purchase of a single game [Call of Duty] of the third-place console maker cannot turn a highly competitive industry on its head,” Microsoft claimed in its response [PDF] to the antitrust lawsuit filed two weeks ago by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The software giant went on to insist that it would make a “limited” portfolio of popular games “more accessible” and “affordable” for consumers.

It said it would call of Duty, Activision’s hugely popular first-person shooter, more widely available. Microsoft’s Xbox division, meanwhile, has agreed to make the game available to Switch maker Nintendo (which doesn’t currently have it) under a 10-year license deal, saying in the filing that it will be available to PlayStation maker Sony offered the same. However, as Microsoft notes in its filing, “Sony refuses to do business.”

All Activision Blizzard games will be affected by the acquisition, which was announced in January this year, months after the struggling game maker was sued over an allegedly toxic “fraternity boy” culture that allegedly led to lower wages for female employees, as well as discrimination and harassment . The test launch date for the suit has been set for February 2023.

Among the games in Activision’s portfolio is Grandparents’ Favorite candy Crush Saga, World of Warcraft, star ship, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, over watch, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawks skateboard Games, Spyro, skylanders and guitar hero.

However, call of Duty is the sticking point as it is by far the most popular game. According to Activision’s own records, “well over half a billion players” play it. Sony has previously complained that Microsoft is essentially building itself a backdoor to create call of Duty exclusively for Xbox and PC gamers. It has also been claimed that Microsoft may be using the game to unfairly promote its Xbox Game Pass streaming service.

Microsoft has been hard at work dispelling that idea, and just a few weeks ago it was struggling to fend off FTC scrutiny when President Brad Smith wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal saying that after completing the game, players would would get more options. Days later, Smith reportedly traveled to the capital to meet with FTC members and persuade them not to sue Microsoft over the deal.

Just hours after the reg detailing his lavish PR efforts, which included social media pledges from Microsoft’s gaming department chief Phil Spencer, landed the FTC suit.

In the UK, the deal has already come under scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which released public opinion on its inquiry on Wednesday. It hasn’t escaped anyone that Microsoft is already dominant in PC operating systems, although a majority of respondents seemed to think that the game’s multiplayer nature would prevent the Windows maker from confining the game to its own console.

The CMA said in September it was concerned that the merger “could harm competitors, including newer and future entrants to gaming, by denying them access to Activision Blizzard games or giving them access on much worse terms.” It’s also cautious about “combining Activision Blizzard with Microsoft’s broader ecosystem” – referring to Xbox Game Pass.

Microsoft has touted the acquisition as an attempt to boost its luck in mobile gaming, noting that Activision’s mobile revenues are much larger than those of its consoles. The game maker’s third quarter of 2022 showed mobile and ancillary revenue for the quarter was $932 million, 52 percent of the quarter’s net revenue of $1.782 billion, with console topline at $366 million and PC at $363 million US dollar fraud.

The response to this week’s complaint read, “Xbox wants to expand its presence in mobile gaming,” and also said that the Xbox console “falls far behind those of Sony and Nintendo.”

For now. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/12/23/microsoft_activision_deal_argument/ $69 billion Activision deal beneficial to gamers, says Microsoft • The Register

Rick Schindler

World Time Todays is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@worldtimetodays.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button