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Microsoft will concede Activision Cloud Streaming Rights


ALBAWABA – Microsoft will concede Activision cloud Streaming rights to a third party in a new deal that is currently being examined by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), news agencies reported Tuesday.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft will grant Unibsoft Entertainment SA the cloud streaming rights for all of Activision Blizzard Inc.’s console games released in the next 15 years.

Meanwhile, the CMA has "opened a new phase 1 investigation into a new, restructured deal by Microsoft to buy Activision", after blocking a previous version of the deal in April, as reported by AFP.

Microsoft originally offered $69 billion to buy out Activision Billazrd, including all cloud streaming rights, which was not acceptable to the CMA.

To appease the UK’s competition watchdog, Microsoft conceded streaming rights to Ubisoft for 15 years, in an attempt to ease monopoly concerns with the CMA.

Microsoft will concede Activision Cloud Streaming Rights to Ubisoft

Under the new arrangement, French gamemaker Ubisoft will get exclusive worldwide rights to stream Activision titles and non-exclusive streaming rights in the European Economic Area.

Microsoft will concede Activision Cloud Streaming Rights
Ubisoft will be able o commercialise cloud streaming rights to other cloud gaming services providers - Shutterstock

Microsoft said on Tuesday it believed its new proposal was a "substantially different transaction" and that it expected the CMA review process to be completed before October 18, according to Reuters.

The CMA in a statement said the new deal allows Ubisoft “to commercialise these rights to other cloud gaming services providers,” including to Microsoft itself, the Canada-based news agency explained.

Ubisoft's shares listed in Paris were up 6.5 percent at 0723 GMT, Reuters reported, making them the top gainer on the pan-European STOXX 600 index.

“Under the restructured transaction, Microsoft will not be in a position either to release Activision Blizzard games exclusively on its own cloud streaming service — Xbox Cloud Gaming – or to exclusively control the licensing terms of Activision Blizzard games for rival services,” Microsoft said in the statement.

While potentially promising for the future, cloud gaming — or games played via streaming to devices — is a money-loser for Microsoft, as well as other companies and rivals, for now, Bloomberg underlined. 

Companies operating in the cloud gaming sphere are still trying to find ways to make it appealing to a large number of gamers and profitable overall.

Streaming games requires pricey cloud-computing power and the technology still subjects players to latency that impacts quality. As of yet, the technology doesn’t work well for fast-paced, graphics-intensive titles, Bloomberg reported.

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