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Microsoft pens 10-year deal to bring Activision Blizzard games to EE customers

Microsoft has pledged to bring PC games built by Activision Blizzard and Xbox to EE customers as part of an expanded partnership.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

April 11, 2023

2 Min Read
A range of devices that can utilise Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft has pledged to bring PC games built by Activision Blizzard and Xbox to EE customers as part of an expanded partnership with the UK mobile network operator.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer tweeted out the news, and explained the deal is part of a "10-year commitment in cloud gaming" that will allow the company to bring more games to more people "however they choose to play."

It's unclear exactly how that partnership will shake out in a practical sense, with Spencer neglecting to explain exactly how Microsoft and EE would leverage the cloud to put Xbox and Activision Blizzard titles into the hands of customers.

Still, if the wording in Spencer's tweet sounds familiar, it's because Microsoft has been beating that same drum as part of its ongoing attempts to purchase Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.

In a bid to push the deal over the line by convincing regulators that it can play nice, Microsoft has penned a string of similar cloud partnerships with companies such as Nvidia, Boosteroid, and Ubitus.

It's a tactic that appears to be working, too, with UK regulator the Competition and Market's Authority (CMA) recently updating its provisional findings to communicate a newfound belief that Microsoft won't, as it previously feared, make key Activision Blizzard franchises platform exclusive should the merger gain approval.

The CMA's change of heart might have given Microsoft and Activision Blizzard cause for optimism, but it wasn't well received in all corners of the industry. Sony, for instance, has repeatedly claimed the deal could impact its own ability to compete with Microsoft, and described the CMA's u-turn as "surprising, unprecedented, and irrational."

For all the latest on Microsoft's ongoing Activision Blizzard acquisition, be sure to check out our regularly updated Rundown.

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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