Microsoft has recently proposed a new deal to address the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) concerns about its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The tech and gaming giant has offered a number of remedies, including allowing Sony to offer Call of Duty games on its PlayStation Plus subscription service at the same time and for the same duration as on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service.
This confirms the previous reports from last December, which first revealed the existence of this offer. The offer explicitly states that Call of Duty games would be provided through both services “at the same time and for the same duration.”
Microsoft’s new proposals could potentially put an end to Sony’s opposition to the deal in front of the CMA. The regulatory body has previously outlined two substantial lessening of competition (SLC) scenarios in the console and cloud gaming markets in the provisional findings from its inquiry into the Microsoft-Activision deal.
While the CMA proposed structural remedies that involved divesting the Call of Duty business altogether, it remained open to behavioral remedies that guaranteed access to Call of Duty for rival console manufacturers and services.
Microsoft has already signed such deals with Nintendo (for the Switch) and Nvidia (for GeForce Now).
With the statutory deadline for the CMA’s Phase 2 inquiry into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard fast approaching on April 26, 2023, Microsoft’s new proposal could potentially sway the regulatory body in its favor.
The proposal would be a significant boon for Sony, as it would allow its PlayStation Plus subscribers to have access to Call of Duty games without the need for additional purchases.
Additionally, this deal would enable Microsoft and Sony to collaborate on future games and projects, which would be beneficial for both companies and their customers.
In conclusion, Microsoft’s proposal to let Sony offer Call of Duty games on its PlayStation Plus subscription service is a significant development in the console and cloud gaming markets. The deal could potentially lead to a mutually beneficial partnership between Microsoft and Sony, benefiting both companies and their subscribers.