BREAKING: Microsoft To Sell Cloud Rights to Ubisoft to Appease CMA

xbox activision deal

In an attempt to sway the UK’s CMA, Microsoft has submitted a revised Activision deal proposal, outlining changes that make it substantially different enough to be once again considered by the organisation. In this newly restructured proposal, Microsoft would divest cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft to ensure market fairness and to avoid exclusivity on Xbox’s platforms for Activision Blizzard products.

This means that Activision Blizzard’s games will one day appear on Ubisoft+ and other cloud gaming services.

This new proposal has been accepted under consideration by the CMA and a fresh investigation has been triggered. Previously, the CMA was one of the biggest blockers to the Microsoft x Activision Blizzard deal being accepted almost globally, and there are now high hopes that this new proposal will settle things in the United Kingdom before the deal’s deadline lands later this year.

Ubisoft Is Being Brought In

The CMA imposed a Final Order to fully prohibit the original deal ‘on a worldwide basis’, so Microsoft (and Activision Blizzard) simply had to act. Fortunately, the outcome of that was the shrewd decision to divest cloud streaming rights – which was one of the chief concerns of the CMA – to Ubisoft Entertainment SA.

In a statement published on the website, it was explained:

Under the restructured deal, Microsoft will not acquire cloud rights for existing Activision PC and console games, or for new games released by Activision during the next 15 years (this excludes the European Economic Area). Instead, these rights will be divested to Ubisoft Entertainment SA (Ubisoft) prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.

There are expectations that the CMA will settle a decision on this newly-proposed deal just days ahead of the extended deadline for the deal, and given that the new proposal directly addresses concerns outlined by the CMA earlier this year, there are high beliefs that the deal will pass.

In a blog post on the Microsoft website, the positive sentiment around this re-written proposal was outlined:

We believe that this development is positive for players, the progression of the cloud game streaming market, and for the growth of our industry. And as we continue to navigate the review process with the CMA, we remain as committed as ever to bringing the incredible benefits of the acquisition to players, developers, and the industry. Today’s development brings us one step closer to bringing the joy of gaming to players everywhere.

Ubisoft also addressed the newly-proposed element of the deal, stressing that Activision Blizzard games will land on Ubisoft+ when the deal is completed. It was also explained that the gaming titan will be ‘licensing the games to a range of cloud streaming and subscription services’.

This ultimately avoids exclusivity concerns, as Activision Blizzard games are now absolutely restricted from being listed only on Microsoft’s own cloud streaming services. And with that news, the entire debate comes one step closer to being fully and completely wrapped up – we hope.

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