The deal wasn’t immediate and Xbox didn’t provide a timeline for when the acquisition would complete, but the news easily overshadowed Xbox’s last big acquisition, the purchase of ZeniMax Media in 2020, for what now looks like a paltry $7.5 billion.
April 1, 2022 – US Senators raise concerns about Blizzard’s acquisition of Activision
Several months after the acquisition was announced, four US senators including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission. this
The letter outlined the concerns that the deal could disenfranchise existing Activision Blizzard employees after allegations of sexual misconduct and other hostile workplace practices.
August 24, 2022 – Xbox has launched the website outlining the benefits of the acquisition
To outline the benefits of Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard to the public,
that highlighted her “gaming vision” and the positives of what could turn out to be the biggest deal in video game history. Microsoft launched a website
According to Xbox, the acquisition will mean more games on more devices, more choices for how to buy games, and variety for mobile gamers. Xbox also claims that developers will have easier access to customers, a fairer marketplace, and more flexibility in payment systems.
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September 1, 2022 – Call of Duty will continue to launch on PlayStation the same day, as will Game Pass
New Call of Duty games will still be released on PlayStation the same day they launch elsewhere, even if the goal is to eventually release new Call of Duty, along with Overwatch and Diablo, on Xbox Game Pass. Spencer made a point to make
In another blog post, Spencer confirmed that PlayStation players will receive the new Call of Duty on the same launch day as any other platform, including Xbox Game Pass where first-party Xbox games are released on the day and date as retail.
September 7, 2022 – PlayStation’s Jim Ryan Calls promise of Call of Duty on Xbox ‘insufficient on many levels’
In the first of a series of responses, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan called the promise to bring Call of Duty to PlayStation after the acquisition “inadequate”.
However, Ryan said that the stated promise to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement does not appeal to PlayStation. “After nearly 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inappropriate on many levels and failed to take into account the impact on our players.” Statement to Gamesindustry.biz
October 12, 2022 – After concerns raised by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, Xbox says PlayStation is too big to fail
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about Xbox’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In response, Xbox said the concerns were unsupported and claimed that the PlayStation was too big to fail.
“The suggestion that a market leader, with visible and enduring market power, could be shut out by a third-largest provider as a result of losing access to a single address is almost implausible.”
. Additionally, Xbox said that even if every Call of Duty player on PlayStation switched to Xbox, “the remaining PlayStation game base would be much larger than Xbox.” Xbox said in a statement
October 31, 2022 – Phil Spencer: Call of Duty will continue to ship on PlayStation ‘as long as there is PlayStation to ship’
In continuing commitments to keeping Call of Duty cross-platform, Phil Spencer said the intent was not to move Call of Duty away from PlayStation gamers and that as long as there was a PlayStation to ship, Xbox would ship Call of Duty to the Sony console.
Spencer cited Minecraft, a game that Xbox continued to ship to other platforms even after the acquisition of developer Mojang. The Brain YouTube channel itself
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November 11, 2022 – Xbox PlayStation is offering a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on the platform
that Xbox has offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. While PlayStation has not commented on the offer, this is a seven-year increase compared to the current three-year deal in place to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Reported by The New York Times
This deal will also come to reflect a similar arrangement made with Nintendo which we will discuss in more detail below.
December 8, 2022 – The Federal Trade Commission sues to block Activision Blizzard’s acquisition of Xbox
In its biggest rebuke to date, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit to block Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The FTC said that Xbox could “harm competition in high-performance game consoles and subscription services by denying or ‘diluting’ competitors’ access to its popular content”. The Federal Trade Commission cited the ZeniMax Media acquisition as an example of how games like Redfall and Starfield would not appear on competing consoles. In a press release
In an internal memo, current Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told employees that while the lawsuit “sounds troubling,” the expectation is that the deal will go through as planned.
December 12, 2022 – Phil Spencer says Sony wants to grow ‘by making Xbox smaller’
In a slight deviation from the tone, Spencer again responded to PlayStation’s attempts to block the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard by saying that PlayStation wants to “protect its dominance” by “making the Xbox smaller”.
Spencer appeared on
He described Sony as the only “major opponent” to the deal. “They have a very different view of the industry than we do. They don’t ship their games on the day and date on PC, [and] They don’t put their games on subscription when they release their games.” Second budka order
While Spencer spent months talking about how Call of Duty would survive on PlayStation, this was met with Jim Ryan calling these initiatives “inadequate”. Responding to the PlayStation’s dominance, Spencer marks a change in tone as the battle for possession continues to heat up.
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January 5, 2023 – UK Capital Markets Authority extends investigation into Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard
Citing the complexity of the case, the Capital Markets Authority announced that it would extend its investigation into the takeover by up to eight weeks to address the amount of evidence it had collected. In addition, the CMA must also go through the responses it obtained from the public after reaching the opinions on the takeover.
The extension means the final submission date for the CMA’s report on whether Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was negative for the industry is now April 26 instead of the original March 1 deadline. That date.
January 30, 2023 – The success of Last of Us on HBO proves Sony’s opposition to the merger is unfounded
While not an official statement, Activision Blizzard CCO
In the official FTC Twitter account, citing the success of Sony’s The Last of Us adaptation of HBO as evidence that Sony’s opposition to the acquisition is unfounded. tweeted Lulu Cheng Meserve
“Sony has an unparalleled advantage in intellectual property, not just in games but in television, film, and music — which can be developed into games, or which can commercialize existing games,” said Meservey. “No wonder their continued dominance as the market leader for consoles. In gaming, Sony is ‘first of us’ — and you’d be fine without the protections of the FTC.”
Meservey pointed to the record-breaking viewership of HBO’s The Last of Us, which is also produced by PlayStation Productions and Sony Pictures Television, as examples of Sony’s vast network.
February 3, 2023 – The European Union issues an antitrust warning to Microsoft
EU representatives issued an official warning to Microsoft about its acquisition plans, claiming that Microsoft could be “incentivized” to keep Call of Duty away from competing consoles. According to Politico
In response, Microsoft said it “listens carefully to the European Commission’s concerns and is confident we can address them.”
With the EU, UK and US apparently criticizing the takeover, scrutiny from the world’s top market regulators has only intensified as the deal tries to find a way forward.
February 8, 2023 – Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard could hurt gamers, CMA says
The UK’s Capital Markets Authority has published an interim report on its investigation that has raised many concerns about Xbox’s plans to acquire Activision Blizzard. This included the risks of higher game prices, less choice, and less innovation for UK players.
One area of concern is cloud gaming. According to the CMA, Microsoft accounts for 60% to 70% of the current cloud gaming offering, and making Call of Duty exclusive could “change the future of gaming.”
The CMA also said that making games exclusive to Xbox “could significantly reduce competition between Xbox and PlayStation in the UK”, and “could lead to all gamers seeing higher prices, reduced range, lower quality and worse service on game consoles over time”.[.]”
February 21, 2023 – Xbox signs a 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo, Nvidia
Microsoft President Brad Smith confirmed that the company
I signed a binding contract for 10 years To bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo owners “on the same day as Xbox, with full features and content parity.” This deal is intended to highlight that the Xbox acquisition will not transform Call of Duty into the Xbox ecosystem, and what better way than to bring Call of Duty to a platform that the series has aggressively ignored in the past?
In particular, the promise to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo gamers with full content parity seems particularly ambitious given Nintendo’s hardware.
On the same day, Microsoft announced a 10-year deal to bring all PC games to Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service, including Activision Blizzard titles. This is a direct response to the UK’s CMA concerns regarding cloud gaming since Nvidia is a major competitor in the service.
With the agreement, Nvidia dropped its concerns about the acquisition, removing at least one major technology company from opposing the deal.
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With months to go before the UK’s CMA’s final report and plenty of hurdles still remaining, it’s likely that we’ll have many more episodes to go before we see any outcome to Microsoft’s plans to acquire Activision Blizzard.
Matt TM Kim is IGN’s Senior Features Editor. You can access it @tweet .