Microsoft has announced a fourth 10-year licensing agreement for Call of Duty, this time with cloud gaming platform Ubitus. The agreement is another step towards the company showing regulators its $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard will not stifle competition.
Ubitus is based in Taiwan and has technology that provides cloud gaming services, including delivering its games to Nintendo Switch users. For example, the company's platform brought Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Control, and Resident Evil 7 to Nintendo's popular console.
This is the latest such agreement following similar deals with Nintendo and Nvidia's GeForce Now. Also, earlier this week the company announced another 10-year agreement with Boosteroid, the largest independent cloud gaming platform in the world.
Call of Duty has largely been at the center of the debate on whether Microsoft's purchase of Activision will harm competition. Regulators in the UK, US, and Europe are currently investigating the merger before deciding whether to approve it or not.
“If the only argument is that Microsoft is going to withhold Call of Duty from other platforms, and we've now entered into contracts that are going to bring this to many more devices and many more platforms, that is a pretty hard case to make to a court,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith in an interview with The Wall Street Journal yesterday.
Microsoft and Ubitus @ubituskk, a leading cloud gaming provider, have signed a 10-year partnership to stream Xbox PC Games as well as Activision Blizzard titles after the acquisition closes. Our commitment is to give more players, more choice.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 15, 2023
However, Microsoft's console rival Sony still pushes back against the deal. Sony has been vocally against the acquisition since day one. The company admits Call of Duty is irreplaceable on PlayStation.
While a similar 10-year licensing agreement is on the table for Sony, the PlayStation company remains unimpressed. In fact, Sony has recently claimed Microsoft could purposely reduce the quality of Call of Duty and sabotage the game on other platforms.
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