It is rather an unexpected turn of event! Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is poised to make a significant impact on Xbox Game Pass. However, regulatory hurdles have pushed back the arrival of beloved titles like Call of Duty to 2024. In this, we will explore the details of this acquisition, obtain the reasons behind the delay, and unravel the implications for the gaming community.
The Regulatory Hurdle:
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard a deal valued at $69 billion, encountered a series of regulatory roadblocks. Various regulatory authorities, including the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had to greenlight the acquisition. Until this approval was secured, Xbox could not lay the groundwork for integrating Activision Blizzard’s games into Game Pass subscription. This stands in sharp contrast to Microsoft’s previous acquisition of ZeniMax Media, where Bethesda games were swiftly incorporated into Game Pass.
The 2024 Target:
According to Phil Spencer, the 2024 timeline is a realistic projection for the appearance of Activision Blizzard games on Xbox Game Pass. This news might not be music to the ears of eager fans who were eagerly anticipating these games. Nevertheless, Spencer emphasized that this delay was the result of an extended regulatory process and not a decision taken lightly by Xbox.
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The Future of Call of Duty:
A peak concern raised by gamers was the future of the iconic Call of Duty franchise. Phil Spencer has assured that Call of Duty will maintain “100 percent uniformity” across all platforms including PlayStation. This highlights that Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will not result in exclusivity of Call of Duty content. As the goal is to ensure that players on all platforms can enjoy the same experience with some performance and resolution differences that may vary depending on the platform.
No Need to Buy an Xbox Console:
Spencer’s message is crystal clear: The main goal of this acquisition isn’t about pushing gamers into buying an Xbox console. It’s not about locking games to one platform but rather about broadening the gaming horizons for a more diverse audience. Microsoft is fully dedicated to ensuring that gamers can savor their favorite titles without the hassle of switching platforms.
The Regulatory Journey of Xbox:
The regulatory journey for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard extended over a year, with concerns pertaining to anti-competitive practices and potential exclusivity deals surfacing. Curiously, Jim Ryan, head of PlayStation, also voiced reservations about the impact of Xbox Game Pass on the gaming industry. Also characterizing it as “value destructive” during discussions with other game publishers.
The delay in integrating Activision Blizzard games into Xbox Game Pass may be disappointing. But it highlights the workings of major acquisitions and the crucial requirement of regulatory approval. Xbox’s commitment to preserving parity for titles such as Call of Duty across all platforms is reassuring news for gamers. As we cast our gaze towards 2024, it is evident that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. As it represents a long-term vision, promising exciting developments in the gaming universe.