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      New offer gives Ubisoft, not Microsoft, control of Activision game-streaming rights

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August, 2023 - 14:25 · 1 minute

    Ubisoft could be the new home to Activision's streaming catalog under a new proposal from Microsoft.

    Enlarge / Ubisoft could be the new home to Activision's streaming catalog under a new proposal from Microsoft. (credit: Ubisoft)

    In a major restructuring of its long-proposed acquisition plans for Activision Blizzard , Microsoft has announced that the cloud-streaming rights for current and future Activision titles will be controlled by Ubisoft rather than Microsoft itself. The move is an effort to ameliorate concerns from UK regulators who blocked the proposed acquisition in April over potential impacts on competition in the cloud-gaming space.

    The newly proposed deal covers perpetual, worldwide streaming rights for all current Activision games and those released in the next 15 years, according to an announcement from Microsoft Vice Chair President Brad Smith. Ubisoft will have exclusive control of those streaming rights outside of the European Union, allowing the company to make those games available on its own Ubisoft+ service and to license them out to other cloud-gaming providers (including Microsoft itself). In the EU, Microsoft will pay to license those Activision streaming rights back from Ubisoft to satisfy promises made to the European Commission regarding free licensing to competing cloud-gaming providers.

    In a statement provided to Ars Technica, Ubisoft said the deal would allow Activision titles to be offered via Ubisoft+ Multi Access on PC, Xbox, and Amazon Luna, as well as via Ubisoft+ Classics on PlayStation . "Today’s deal will give players even more opportunities to access and enjoy some of the biggest brands in gaming," said Chris Early, Ubisoft SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, in the statement.

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      Activision says UK was “irrational” in blocking Microsoft purchase

      news.movim.eu / 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."

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