Microsoft has cleared nearly every major hurdle on its way to the biggest acquisition in gaming history, but the future remains unclear for gamers.
tech giants are The long-running bid to buy Activision Blizzard is nearing its endthe hit video game developer, for $69bn (£52.9bn).
But after 19 months of bitter wrangling with regulators, the government and rivals since first announcing plans to buy the developer, Microsoft It will now have to pause and wait for the UK’s competition watchdog to review its revised offer.
Earlier this week, the London court formally suspended the trial Microsoft’s appeal Opposed to moves by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to block its planned takeover, after the CMA announced it would consider amending the deal, both sides requested a two-month extension.
A full hearing on Microsoft’s appeal, originally scheduled to begin at the end of the month, has been postponed.
After repeated attempts by top U.S. antitrust regulators to block the deal failed, already approved in the EU and China – Obtaining UK approval is the biggest remaining milestone.
However, the company’s assurances to global competitors, gamers and regulators are limited.
The tension surrounding the deal comes down to whether a successful merger would give Microsoft too much power and ultimately limit gamers’ choice.
Regulators worry Activision Blizzard-developed hit could become Microsoft exclusive xboxmeaning that the player using game console, nintendo or other consoles can no longer access them.
This isn’t the first time the company has enhanced its Xbox offering by acquiring a game maker.
After Microsoft spent $7.5bn (£5.7bn) in 2020 to acquire the makers of hit games Fallout and Skyrim, executives promised that some future games from Bethesda Studios would be exclusive to the Xbox and PC users.
Among the lucrative titles Microsoft will own are Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush. “Modern Warfare II” is the latest work in the “Call of Duty” series, Grossed $1bn (£767,000) in its opening weekend alone.
However, Microsoft insists it doesn’t want to limit choice, and has signed deals with Sony and Nintendo guaranteeing that Call of Duty — Activision’s most valuable asset — will be available on their consoles if the merger goes ahead.
Despite the Call of Duty deal, it’s unclear what will happen to the many other popular titles developed by Activision Blizzard, or whether full access to the series will be renewed after the agreed period.
It’s been 10 years for Nintendo.
The CMA, which initially blocked the takeover, said last week, Ready to Renegotiate with Microsoft This comes after the company agreed to discontinue legal action related to its planned merger with Activision Blizzard.
The U.K. regulator said it would take six weeks to “fully and properly consider” Microsoft’s submission before making a decision by Aug. 29.
The deal also faces opposition from a group of individual plaintiffs who earlier this week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily halt the deal.