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Microsoft inks (another) cloud gaming partnership to support "emerging" segment

The move comes days after the company's Activision Blizzard deal was blocked in the UK over fears it will allow Microsoft to become a cloud gaming powerhouse.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

April 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Xbox Cloud Gaming technology being used on a portable device

Microsoft has agreed to bring PC titles and potentially Activision Blizzard franchises to European cloud gaming platform Nware.

The Xbox maker announced the 10-year agreement deal with Nware just days after its proposed Activision Blizzard merger was blocked by UK regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over concerns it will allow Microsoft to dominate the cloud gaming market.

Nware claims its cloud streaming platform gives players the ability to play their own games "without the need for expensive high-end devices, such as consoles or gaming PCs."

This isn't the first time Microsoft has struck a deal of this kind with a cloud gaming company, with the console maker recently penning similar agreements with Nvidia, Boosteroid, and Ubitus.

When announcing the latest deal, however, Microsoft president Brad Smith emphasized how the company wants to help the nascent market grow.

Microsoft and Europe

"Microsoft and European cloud gaming platform Nware have signed a 10-year agreement to stream PC games built by Xbox on its platform, as well as Activision Blizzard titles after the acquisition closes," said Smith on Twitter.

"While it's still early for the emerging cloud segment in gaming, this new partnership combined with our other recent commitments will make more popular games available on more cloud game streaming services than they are today."

It's a statement that feels like a direct challenge to the CMA's assertions that Microsoft is already poised to dominate the cloud gaming market, and that it's proposed Activision Blizzard merger might result in "reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come."

Both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard intend to appeal the CMA's verdict, and have attempted to take the regulator to task in a series of statements and interviews.

Activision Blizzard, for instance, said it will work "aggressively" with Microsoft to reverse the decision, adding that it will be reassessing its growth plans for the UK following the CMA's ruling.

In an interview with the BBC, Smith suggested the decision to block the deal represented Microsoft's "darkest day" in the UK, and claimed the regulator is sending a message that will "discourage innovation and investment in the United Kingdom."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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