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Call Of Duty Going Xbox Exclusive Could Block Microsoft Activision Deal, Analyst Warns

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Call Of Duty Going Xbox Exclusive Could Block Microsoft Activision Deal, Analyst Warns

Microsoft’s massive buyout of Activision has well and truly shook the internet. It’s by far the biggest video game acquisition in history, and it turns out that $68 billion dollars can buy you a whole lot of IPs, studios, and controversial CEOs. If the deal goes through, in theory, it also means that Microsoft could decide to make any number of their new IPs - be that Crash Bandicoot, Overwatch, or even Call of Duty - Xbox exclusives. 

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Well, it turns out it might not actually be as easy as that, thanks to competition law. Basically, regulators can prohibit acquisitions and mergers they think could be a threat to market competition. So, if a deal is so good for a company that it blows everyone else out of the water, they could be in trouble, and it might not actually be able to pass. 

While you're here, check out some of the best COD: Warzone wins and fails below.

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Since the deal isn’t actually complete yet (it’s set to be finalised by around June 2023), Microsoft has to play things carefully to make sure the acquisition isn’t prohibited, and announcing any plans to make a massive IP like Call of Duty could be a huge mistake to make, according to an analyst spoken to by GamesIndustry.biz.

“It should also be noted that on the console side Call of Duty is really the only big franchise from Activision. The big issue is if COD becomes a Microsoft exclusive. Right now, I don't think [it will]. For one thing, it would be hard to get it past regulators if they want to lock the competition out,” said David Cole, CEO of DFC Intelligence. “When Activision acquired Blizzard in 2008, US and European regulators were all over the deal. This is a much bigger deal.” 

The sheer size of the acquisition could also raise a few red flags for regulators, but George Jijiashvili, principal analyst for Omdia, doesn’t think it’ll be a problem. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, he said: “Microsoft has managed to avoid the levels of regulatory scrutiny which the likes of Meta currently face, but the size of this acquisition will no doubt turn heads. I expect this deal to get a good looking at, but I don't think it will blocked on anti-trust laws.”

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So, there’s still a lot to consider when it comes to the acquisition, and it’s not all as guaranteed as it might first appear. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

Featured Image Credit: Activision, Mika Baumeister via Unsplash

Topics: Call Of Duty, Activision, Microsoft, Xbox, Activision Blizzard

Catherine Lewis
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