Microsoft Signs Deals to Bring Games to Nintendo and NVIDIA GeForce Now
21.02.2023 um 13:50
Following a hearing with the European Commission, Microsoft President Brad Smith announced a new deal to bring all Xbox PC games to competing cloud service NVIDIA GeForce Now, alongside a 10-year agreement to bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch! Aimed at addressing concerns of availability should Microsoft acquire Activision Blizzard, those games will also be brought to GeForce Now if the deal is approved.
The announcement came shortly after Microsoft made its case in a closed hearing at the European Commission earlier today, which has been investigating the proposed
$68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard
, a deal which is also being scrutinized by the
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
U.K. Competition and Markets Authority
. Both Microsoft and Activision have been firing back on all fronts, with Bobby Kotick recently
calling out regulator's lack of experience
in the industry, saying that neither company would ever do anything to upset availability.
These new deals with Nvidia and Nintendo have been offered to help appease those regulators concerns that games such as Call of Duty would become less available, with Smith determined to prove that it will instead bring their games to ~150 million more players, to include making Activision Blizzard's library available on GeForce Now. While speaking to media after the hearing, Smith said he was more optimistic about the purchase going through because of these new deals, but while a similar offer to ensure Call of Duty remains available on PlayStation is ready to go, Sony remains opposed.
Brad Smith, via GamesIndustry
"We haven't agreed a deal with Sony, but I hope we will." Smith says he has an envelope in his pocket with the deal on paper. "I hope today is a day that will advance our industry and regulation in a responsible way."
Sony can spend all its energy trying to block this deal, which will reduce competition and slow the evolution of the market. Or they can sit down with us, and hammer out a deal.
Sony says Call of Duty is a must-have product, but that 'must have title' was only available on 120 million devices. And if this deal goes through, it'll be available on 150 million more devices.
Brad Smith says he 'has to believe the future is cross-platform', which is what this deal is all about.
Microsoft's main argument is that the acquisition will bring Activision Blizzard games to far more players without hurting competitors - citing Nintendo, NVidia, Valve (Steam), and other companies in support of the deal - while describing how strongly Sony beats Xbox in the European market: "Think about the market in Europe. It is a market where Sony has an 80% share. Globally, it is about 70/30. In Japan, it is 96/4. These numbers have been remarkably steady for two decades. Even last year, when there were issues with Sony's supply chain, they came back strong." Sony outsold Microsoft by 69/31 towards the end of last year.
Smith says they're 'more than ready' to answer regulator concerns, citing a long and deep history of delivering remedies to satisfy the EU with past acquisitions like LinkedIn. He says, "we have come here to make this kind of solution work."
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