• chevron_right

    Activision says UK was “irrational” in blocking Microsoft purchase / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 30 May, 2023 - 16:47 · 1 minute

A small selection of the characters that would be part of Microsoft if its proposed Activision/Blizzard merger is allowed to go through.

Enlarge / A small selection of the characters that would be part of Microsoft if its proposed Activision/Blizzard merger is allowed to go through. (credit: Activision Blizzard King)

Activision isn't pulling any punches in its fight against the UK's regulatory attempts to block its merger with Microsoft . In a "motion to intervene" recently filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (and recently summarized on the tribunal's website ), Activision excoriates the UK's Competition and Markets Authority for a "flawed conclusion" that was variously "unlawful, irrational, and/or disproportionate" and "arrived at in a procedurally unfair manner."

The appeal takes particular issue with the CMA's focus on cloud gaming in a vacuum, without taking into account competition from "native gaming" via games running on local hardware. The ability to easily switch from one type of game experience to the other means that cloud gaming should not be a "separate product market," Activision argues.

A source close to Activision's appeals process (who asked for anonymity to speak frankly about the appeal) put a finer point on this argument, saying that cloud gaming is a niche technology and that "most consumers continue to get games by download or physical disc because running the game on their local hardware gives them a much better experience."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    Nvidia wants to buy CPU designer Arm—Qualcomm is not happy about it / ArsTechnica · Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 22:26 · 1 minute

Some current Arm licensees view the proposed acquisition as highly toxic.

Enlarge / Some current Arm licensees view the proposed acquisition as highly toxic. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Nvidia)

In September 2020, Nvidia announced its intention to buy Arm, the license holder for the CPU technology that powers the vast majority of mobile and high-powered embedded systems around the world.

Nvidia's proposed deal would acquire Arm from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank for $40 billion—a number which is difficult to put into perspective. Forty billion dollars would represent one of the largest tech acquisitions of all time, but 40 Instagrams or so doesn't seem like that much to pay for control of the architecture supporting every well-known smartphone in the world, plus a staggering array of embedded controllers, network routers, automobiles, and other devices.

Today’s Arm doesn’t sell hardware

Arm's business model is fairly unusual in the hardware space, particularly from a consumer or small business perspective. Arm's customers—including hardware giants such as Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung—aren't buying CPUs the way you'd buy an Intel Xeon or AMD Ryzen. Instead, they're purchasing the license to design and/or manufacture CPUs based on Arm's intellectual property. This typically means selecting one or more reference core designs, putting several of them in one system on chip (SoC), and tying them all together with the necessary cache and other peripherals.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    Borderlands studio gets scooped up in deal worth up to $1.37 billion / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 3 February, 2021 - 15:15

Embrace the Embracer.

Enlarge / Embrace the Embracer.

One of the last large independent game developers will no longer operate on its own, as Borderlands maker Gearbox Entertainment has merged with Swedish holding company Embracer Group. The Embracer conglomerate already encompasses dozens of mid-size game studios under brands like THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, and Koch Media.

The deal is initially worth $363 million in cash and stock, a number that could grow by up to roughly $1 billion if Gearbox meets some ambitious earnings goals over the next six years. That represents quite the windfall for Gearbox's roughly 550 employees in Texas and Quebec, who have jointly owned the studio since its founding in 1999 and will now become significant shareholders in Embracer.

Under Embracer, Gearbox will continue to "operate as an independent studio" under the leadership of founder and CEO Randy Pitchford, the company said in a statement. Pitchford has been embroiled in a number of controversies in recent years over allegations of employee mistreatment , misappropriations of company funds , underpayment of talent , and even tales of leaving pornography at Medieval Times . Pitchford has denied these accusations.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments