It’s not over yet!
That’s right, the UK regulator’s series isn’t over yet, and they used Starfield as an example for the Activision Blizzard-owned “concern”.
Shortly after completing the ZeniMax/Bethesda acquisition last year, Xbox made Starfield an Xbox exclusive, according to the agency. Which probably led the body to think that Microsoft might do the same with Activision Blizzard games, especially with the flagship, Call of Duty. Check:
“The CMA considered Microsoft’s broader strategies, as evidenced by its internal documents and the historical course of trade following similar transactions in the past. The CMA found that Microsoft’s potential strategic benefit from using ABK content [Activision Blizzard] Hurting competitors — such as expanding Game Pass’s user base and strengthening network effects on its gaming ecosystem — could outweigh any immediate loss in terms of licensing revenue.“
“CMA notes that Microsoft has followed this approach in several game studio acquisitions, where it has made future game releases from those studios exclusive to Xbox consoles (such as the upcoming Starfield and, based on Microsoft’s public statements, Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls VI). The studio was acquired by Microsoft as part of its $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax in 2021).“
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