A deal to keep Call of Duty on Playstation could further ease concerns surrounding the acquisition’s impact on competition.
Speaking on the agreement, Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a tweet, “Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before.”
The FTC had argued the deal would hurt consumers whether they played video games on consoles or had subscriptions because Microsoft would have an incentive to shut out rivals like Sony Group.
To address the FTC’s concerns, Microsoft had earlier agreed to license Call of Duty to rivals, including a 10-year contract with Nintendo, contingent on the merger closing.
Microsoft initially announced the Activision bid in January 2022. The internet giant wanted to take on rivals Tencent and Sony with the acquisition. Earlier, both companies signed a 10-year licensing deals that will bring Call of Duty to their gaming platform if the Activision deal is approved. However, Microsoft has now decided to let Call of Duty stay on PlayStation. In fact, Spain’s Nware has also signed a 10-year deal to bring Xbox and Activision Blizzard games to the Spanish cloud-gaming platform.
It is to be noted that Brazil, Chile, Serbia and Saudi Arabia have already given an unconditional approval to the deal.
© Thomson Reuters 2023