Activision Blizzard’s acquisition, which Microsoft proposed earlier this year, has become a bigger point of discussion than anyone expected it to be. The second major video game developer and publisher acquisition by the company, coming right behind the Zenimax acquisition, many raised some valid points.
Some said that these plans lean towards anti-trust problems. Others pointed out that this acquisition will probably make few of the titles exclusive to one particular platform. The situation became so heated that Sony’s Jim Ryan publicly disclosed the Call of Duty deal offered to them by Xbox. Recently, Ryan even travelled to Europe to talk with respective authorities about the deal.
However, amidst these discussions, Brazil’s regulatory body thinks otherwise (via VGC). Last day, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE)approved the merger without any problems or restrictions.
The CADE summary read the following:
“Considering the huge popularity of Call of Duty, it is reasonable to infer that if Activision Blizzard games were no longer available on Sony consoles, PlayStation users could decide to migrate to Xbox, or even a PC, to continue having access to franchise games. On the other hand, it’s also reasonable to assume that if upcoming Call of Duty games became exclusive to the Microsoft ecosystem, players loyal to the PlayStation brand could simply abandon the series, migrating their demand to other games available on their favourite console.”
“As already seen, Nintendo does not currently rely on any content from Activision Blizzard to compete in the market. In turn, Sony has several predicates – the strength of being the world’s leading brand for more than 20 years, extensive experience in the sector, largest user base, largest installed base of consoles, robust catalog of exclusive games, partnerships with multiple publishers, brand loyal consumers, etc. – which should contribute to maintaining the competitiveness of PlayStation in a possible post-Operation scenario, even in the face of possible loss of access to Activision Blizzard content.”
The CADE believes the deal may contribute to competition in the console markets, one of the main factors for PlayStation and Nintendo’s current market positions.
“Exclusive games are a benchmark of competition between Microsoft and SIE, although no company has so far developed or acquired an exclusive game that has decisively shifted the balance in favour of a console. This is because proprietary exclusive games are less popular and represent less revenue than third-party AAA games, which, until then, are available on Xbox and PlayStation.”
As of now, Brazil is the first to publicly share its correspondence. The UK competition regulator has set a deadline of March 1, 2023, to publish their findings regarding the deal.