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CMA inquiry shows significant public support of Microsoft-Activision acquisition

The people have spoken.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 21, 2022

2 Min Read
Screenshot of Kiriko in Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch 2.

UK's competition regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) allowed the public to share its thoughts on Microsoft's acquisition efforts to own Activision Blizzard. Of the 2,100 responses given, "around three quarters" were in favor of it going through. 

All eyes have been on Microsoft's $68.7 billion acquisition of the publisher behind Call of Duty and Diablo since the deal's initial announcement. Though government regulators across the world (such as the CMA) have made their issues with the deal known quite well in recent months, it looks like Microsoft's repeated insistence on its public benefits have paid off. 

Responses given in favor of the acquisition include Microsoft needing to get on equal footing with console and mobile rivals, and the release of more higher-quality games across the larger industry. 

Some responses regarded Sony, who's made clear it doesn't want to lose revenue from Activision Blizzard and the Call of Duty series more specifically. Those responses pointed out that Sony itself has a history of securing content or cross-platform franchises for exclusivity purposes, and this acquisition would drive the PlayStation maker to be more competitive. 

Additionally, supporters wrote that Microsoft wouldn't keep Call of Duty or any Activision Blizzard series exclusive to Xbox, because it would lose out on potential licensing revenue and fill a gap for a possible rival to take over.

Conversely, the quarter of responses against the acquisition have argued that Microsoft could stand against competition without snatching up one of its rivals in the process. Other arguments concerned how other publishers would have their own mergers in response, and the stability of Call of Duty on non-Xbox platforms. 

Further, it was acknowledged that the Xbox maker's repeated buyouts of developers and publishers may ultimately harm the larger game industry. 

Similarly, concerns were raised about the acquisition raising the barrier to entry for smaller developers, and those who wish to enter the cloud and subscription-based game space. In recent months, Microsoft has repeatedly made Xbox Cloud Gaming more easily accessible and repeatedly touted the growth of Xbox Game Pass. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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