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Microsoft promises to sell Activision Blizzard streaming rights to Ubisoft

Microsoft will be selling the streaming rights of Activision Blizzard games if their acquisition goes ahead

Microsoft has revealed its latest gambit in an effort to get approval for its deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. Most authorities have cleared the acquisition to go ahead, with the FTC losing the court case against Microsoft and having their injunction blocked by the courts in July. The only major opposition remaining is the CMA in the UK, which initially blocked the deal in April, and has now extended the deadline for its final decision to August 29, 2023.

Roughly a week ahead of that deadline, Microsoft has unveiled its latest deal in an attempt to prove that this acquisition will not, as the CMA put it, “stifle competition” in the gaming market. Microsoft announced this morning that, if the acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes ahead, they will sell the streaming rights for the studios' games to Ubisoft and their Ubisoft+ service in perpetuity for 15 years.

What this means is that, for example, all Call of Duty games released in the next 15 years will be available for Ubisoft to host on their streaming service forever, even after the deal has expired. Note that these are not exclusive streaming rights, which means these games will likely still be available on Xbox Cloud Gaming as well.

"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," explained Microsoft president Brad Smith in a blog post announcing the deal.