Game Pass, Importance of Mobile, Call of Duty on PlayStation: Phil Spencer Discusses Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Game Pass, Importance of Mobile, Call of Duty on PlayStation: Phil Spencer Discusses Activision Blizzard Acquisition

In this message, the Xbox think tank confirms that one of the main motivations behind this acquisition is the opportunity to become a mobile giant in the blink of an eye. By taking over Bobby Kotick’s group, Microsoft gets its hands on the extremely rich Candy Crush, but also on the many initiatives launched by Activision (Call of Duty Warzone) and Blizzard (Diablo Immortal, Warcraft Arclight Rumble) in the field of mobile devices, even if the partnership with NetEase Games over two big Warcraft games seems to have fizzled out recently.

As much as we love consoles, we recognize that they’re not the only way people play games. Today, mobile platforms are the largest and fastest growing gaming segment. To reach billions of gamers, wherever they are and on whatever device they play on, we must be open to choice.“, explains Phil Spencer, who confirms in passing that Activision Blizzard licenses, including Call of Duty, Diablo and Overwatch, will be welcome in the Game Pass catalog after the acquisition is complete.

We’re expanding choice in two ways: by creating Game Pass, which gives gamers a subscription option, and by bringing more games to mobile platforms, including through our cloud gaming technology. Subscription services like Game Pass make gaming more affordable and help gamers around the world find their next favorite game. We intend to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games, including Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty, available on Game Pass and grow those gaming communities. By bringing even more value to gamers, we look forward to continuing to grow Game Pass, extending its appeal to mobile phones and any connected device.“We can read.

What is the motive for the crime?

Even if the means invested are unparalleled, Xbox and PlayStation really fuel today the same ambition to carve out a significant place on mobile. On Monday, Sony Interactive Entertainment officially announced the creation of the mobile division of PlayStation Studios and welcomed Savage Game Studios into the family to develop a first AAA mobile game based on a PlayStation license. Nintendo, by contrast, clearly slowed its investments in iOS/Android games by pointing out that the success of the Switch alone was more than enough to regain the heights. Not really in the mood to build a new mobile division from scratch like SIE has been doing since 2020, Microsoft took advantage of Activision Blizzard’s predicament last year to take over Bobby Kotick’s empire.

However, bringing more games to mobile platforms requires new capabilities. The experience of the Activision Blizzard teams in developing games for mobile platforms will help us understand how to create games that appeal to gamers from all over the world. Additionally, we hope gamers are eager to play traditional Activision Blizzard console games on other platforms through our cloud gaming technology. It promises to open up mobile gaming by creating new distribution opportunities for game developers outside of mobile app stores, while delivering engaging and immersive experiences to gamers through the power of the cloud. And we can extend the fun of gaming to the devices people already own, including smart TVs and laptops.“, develops Phil Spencer.

Phil Spencer confirms (again) that Sony will not lose Call of Duty

The subject has recently resurfaced as a result of the appearance on the Internet of certain exchanges between Sony and Microsoft lawyers regarding this acquisition. Phil Spencer takes the opportunity to reaffirm that the days of the popular Call of Duty franchise are not numbered on PlayStation, comparing its situation with that of Minecraft, whose cross-platform status has never been in question since Mojang was bought by Microsoft in 2014. Of course, Microsoft will have the enormous advantage of being able to put each new installment of Kalof on your Game Pass on launch day, but nothing should change about fan habits on the opposite console.

We’ve heard that this deal could steal franchises like Call of Duty from other places where people currently play it. That’s why, as we’ve said before, we’re committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day as it is on other platforms. We will continue to allow players to play against each other across all platforms and devices. We know gamers benefit from this approach because we did it with Minecraft, which continues to be available on multiple platforms and has expanded to more platforms since Mojang joined Microsoft in 2014.says Phil Spencer.

Keep in mind that by dint of focusing the debate on Call of Duty, we’re still wondering what will happen to the cross-platform status of Activision Blizzard’s other games once the deal is finalized. After all, apart from those that already had deals with Sony (Deathloop, GhostWire Tokyo), the latest games announced by Bethesda (Starfield, Redfall) have left PlayStation out of their sight, despite Phil Spencer’s ability to repeat it’s. his goal is not to make games inaccessible everywhere.

In the UK, the competition authority still has doubts

But pending Microsoft management getting the green light to uncork its champagne of 70 billion bubbles, the competition regulator has yet to say its last word, particularly in the UK. As he has just let the public know, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) still has doubts about the possible consequences of this acquisition and considers that it could harm competition in the areas of consoles, subscriptions and cloud gaming services. “We are concerned that if the deal goes through, it could harm rivals, including new and future entrants into the gaming industry, by denying or hindering access to Activision Blizzard games.“, we can read in the press release of the British regulator.

The CMA also received evidence of the potential impact of Activision Blizzard’s partnership with the broader Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft already has a leading game console (Xbox), a leading cloud computing platform (Azure), and the first PC operating system (Windows OS), all of which could be important to its success in cloud gaming. . The CMA is concerned that Microsoft is taking advantage of Activision Blizzard games and Microsoft’s strength in consoles, cloud computing and PC operating systems to harm competition in the nascent game services market.“, prepares the press release.

As it stands, the CMA therefore judges that the case merits further investigation. “Microsoft and Activision Blizzard now have 5 days to make proposals to address our concerns. If the proposals made are not sufficient, the case will be referred to a Phase 2 investigation and we will explore this settlement further to come to a decision that works for UK players and businesses.“, concludes the regulator.

Aware that the soap opera is not over yet, Phil Spencer himself concluded his message in a calming tone, again emphasizing that the presence of ambitious players such as Tencent and Sony (the only ones to achieve a higher video game turnover than Microsoft currently) it will prevent Microsoft from achieving too dominant a position in the industry landscape. “The video game industry today is robust and dynamic. Industry leaders including Tencent and Sony continue to add to their game libraries, along with other entertainment brands and franchises, that are loved by gamers around the world. We believe that a thorough review will show that the combination of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will benefit the industry and gamers.Phil Spencer ends.

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