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Microsoft To Sell Off Activision Cloud Gaming Rights To Ubisoft In Bid For UK Approval

Ubisoft just won the real-world game of Monopoly.

To assuage fears of all-out market control by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority [CMA], the Washington-based gaming giant Microsoft is committing to restructuring their Activision Blizzard acquisition deal, seemingly stuck in development hell.

This new addendum would see the company’s gaming wing, Xbox, hand over streaming rights to Activision Blizzard games to the French game-developing darling.

Realistically, this would mean that if Microsoft does close its proposed acquisition, it would lose exclusivity rights to release existing and new-arriving Activision Blizzard games to the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform. The deal would dilute Microsoft’s claim to Activision Blizzard’s catalogue, allowing the company to explore ways of profiting from this new restructuring.

Outside of the EU, Microsoft would be required to license Activision Blizzard games from Ubisoft for release on Xbox Cloud Gaming. Ubisoft can add Activision Blizzard games to its Ubisoft Plus Multi Access subscription service.

“Ubisoft will compensate Microsoft for the cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard’s games through a one-off payment and through a market-based wholesale pricing mechanism, including an option that supports pricing based on usage,” says Microsoft president Brad Smith.
This new development will add to the extensive backlog of approving this deal. The CMA would now like to undertake a new investigation into the deal, expected to be completed on October 18th, which coincides with the deal’s closing date.

“The agreement with Ubisoft has been structured so that Microsoft will still acquire the rights needed to honour fully its legal obligations under its commitments to the European Commission, as well as its existing contractual obligations to other cloud game streaming providers, including Nvidia, Boosteroid, Ubitus, and Nware,” says Smith.