The Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft has had many developments in recent weeks. Regulators around the world have been investigating the impact of such a massive deal and what implications it could have on the competitive games industry market.
The current deal between PlayStation and Call of Duty has seen a marketing partnership that has allowed PlayStation to feature some exclusive early access to in-game content. However, part of the agreement was also to keep Call of Duty out of the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.
Deal or no deal
In a response to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority that is investigating the deal, Xbox released a full response regarding the concerns of the acquisition. In the response, Xbox CEO, Phil Spencer’s previous comments were mentioned which stated the company would, “Honour all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard”. Microsoft states that part of the current agreement includes restrictions regarding bringing Call of Duty titles to Game Pass for a number of years.
What these restrictions actually include is still rather vague as the number of years is not specified. This also raises the question of whether this applies to all Call of Duty games or only future releases. The debate surrounding the acquisition divides opinion, with some being concerned that the deal could grant Xbox an ‘unfair’ advantage in the market. On the other hand, some see the deal as a fair competitive move for Xbox and that competition breeds innovation.
Xbox also recently expanded the scale of its accessibility testing service by enabling detailed feedback from players with disabilities.