Microsoft Signs 10-Year Deal With Boosteroid to Ease Concerns About Activision Blizzard Acquisition | Engadget

Microsoft is still hard at work convincing antitrust regulators that its planned purchase of Activision Blizzard will not harm competition in the gaming industry. Today the company announced a 10-year deal with Boosteroid for the cloud gaming provider to stream Activision’s PC titles if the deal goes through.

It is the latest attempt by Microsoft to show regulators in the EU, UK and US that it will not use the deal to weed out competitors and stifle competition. Similarly, it recently signed 10-year deals with Nintendo and Nvidia to bring the Call of Duty franchise to platforms like Switch and GeForce Now. Microsoft has said that it offered Sony a similar deal for the PlayStation license (which Sony did not accept) and promised to support the availability of Steam at the same time as Xbox. Sony raised concerns about the deal earlier this month, including the possibility of Microsoft shipping buggy versions of Call of Duty on PlayStation, diminishing gamers’ confidence in playing the immensely popular shooter on PlayStation consoles. Sony.

“If the only argument is that Microsoft is going to retain Call of Duty from other platforms, and we’ve now signed contracts that will bring this to a lot more devices and a lot more platforms, that’s a pretty hard case to make. to a court,” Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith said. The Wall Street Journal. “The reason we want to buy Activision Blizzard is to round out our titles to have a more complete library, especially to have more mobile titles where we don’t have a strong presence and build a stronger gaming business.”

Activision Blizzard

Boosteroid is the world’s largest independent cloud gaming service. Like GeForce Now, it supports multi-device streaming access, but requires the purchase of paid games on other platforms (including Steam, Epic Games,, and Origin). Boosteroid’s current library includes Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, red dead redemption 2 and Activision call of duty: war zone (Among many others). You can stream games in web browsers, and it offers native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV, and Linux. (iOS is missing because it doesn’t allow native cloud gaming apps without complicated workarounds.) Boosteroid has servers in Romania, Ukraine, Italy, Slovakia, France, Spain, the UK, Sweden, Serbia and the US.

It was reported earlier this month that the European Commission, in charge of EU competition regulation, was satisfied enough with Microsoft’s commitments to “probably” give the go-ahead. However, the commission has not said so publicly and has until April 25 to decide. A decision from UK regulators is expected the following day. Meanwhile, the US Federal Trade Commission sued Microsoft to block the deal in December over concerns that it could raise prices or cut off access to non-Microsoft hardware, something Microsoft has denied. would do. The company has until July to comply with the FTC, or it will have to renegotiate the deal or abandon the purchase, risking it a break-in fee of up to $3 billion.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority, which favors structural changes over behavioral promises like license agreements, recently suggested that Microsoft could divest Activision’s publishing unit, which Microsoft has indicated it has no interest in. do; Deals like Boosteroid’s are part of their fight to avoid that fate.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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