The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has posted responses to its provisional findings from six game companies. They shared their thoughts on Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, seeing no reason for this deal to be blocked.
The CMA released the documents on March 16, alongside new responses from Microsoft, Activision, and Sony. All of them can be found in the Responses to Provisional Findings section on its website.
Below you can read the key takeaways from the six studios’ responses. It is worth noting that the UK watchdog only disclosed the name of one company, 4J Studios. Others were redacted.
- 4J Studios, a porting studio that has a long history of relationships with Microsoft, noted that the Activision Blizzard acquisition is a “natural evolution of the industry and it does not give us any cause for concern for our own future opportunities.”
- Co-founder Chris van der Kuy also said Microsoft has honored every element of the agreements that it inherited after acquiring Mojang and also provided 4J Studios with new opportunities and access to other platforms.
- All of the remaining companies, whose names weren’t disclosed by the CMA, also supported the merger. “We do not believe that any title can be considered a ‘must have’ in the interactive enteratainment market,” one studio said in relation to the possible exclusivity of Call of Duty.
- A CEO of another game company that has worked with Microsoft, Activision, and Sony noted that Microsoft “always honors their contracts and obligations.” They also asked the CMA would UK players be better served “if they were acquired by Tencent instead” given that the Chinese tech giant already owns a stake in Activision.
- Another respondent, a AAA developer and publisher, said it doesn’t expect the Activision Blizzard deal to pose any risks to the distribution of its games on Xbox or other platforms.
- One of the companies that responded to the CMA’s provisional findings noted that its games are now selling better on Xbox than PlayStation, despite Microsoft’s platform having a smaller player base. “I’ve found myself of the opinion that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard can only be a good thing for smaller-to-mid sized business like ours,” the message reads.
- And the sixth studio found the regulator’s concerns to be “slightly exaggerated and out of proportion.”
The CMA published its provisional findings on February 8, offering Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard without the Call of Duty franchise. Microsoft then rejected this divestment remedy, and Sony insisted that CoD should remain in independent hands.
The UK regulator has until April 26 to make its final ruling on the Activision Blizzard acquisition.