The Deal’s Approval
Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has received the green light from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This approval came after Microsoft restructured the deal to transfer cloud gaming rights for current and new Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, expressed his satisfaction with the CMA’s decision, stating that this marks the final regulatory hurdle for the acquisition. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also confirmed that all necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained, and they are excited about the next chapter with Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Initial Perspective on COD: Mobile
While Activision had been clear about their intentions, Microsoft’s initial comments had added a layer of uncertainty. In a statement to the UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority, Microsoft hinted that “COD: Mobile is expected to be phased out over time (outside of China) with the launch of Warzone Mobile.”
Amidst the swirling rumors, Activision took a firm stance on March 13, issuing a statement promising their unwavering support for COD: Mobile. They emphasized their commitment to continue updating and providing content for the game “for the long haul.”
Activision views COD: Mobile as an integral part of the entire Call of Duty franchise and has been quick to reassure players of their dedication, even with the looming release of Warzone Mobile.
Microsoft never intended to abruptly shut down COD: Mobile. Their strategy was to gradually phase out COD: Mobile as Warzone Mobile gains prominence, incorporating popular elements from COD: Mobile into the new game. Despite this, there’s an unwarranted panic within the CODM community, fueled by baseless rumors about the game’s shutdown post-acquisition. Rest assured, CODM is here to stay, and while it might eventually be phased out, such a move isn’t anticipated in the foreseeable future, at least for the next five years.
Furthermore, recent mobile gaming trends highlight the loyalty of gamers to their chosen titles, often due to emotional, financial investments, and also device optimization challenges. Microsoft’s potential move to phase out COD: Mobile for Warzone Mobile could be strategic misstep, given the historical reluctance of players to switch games. The delays in Warzone Mobile’s launch and diminishing hype further suggest it might not easily outshine COD: Mobile’s success.