European Commission: Activision Blizzard Games Likely to be Included in Game Pass Ultimate Only

William D’Angelo
, posted 10 hours ago / 1,314 Views

With Xbox Live Gold being rebranded to Xbox Game Pass Core on September 14, there will be four different tiers of Game Pass available with prices ranging from $9.99 per month for the Core and PC tiers, $10.99 for the Console tier, and $16.99 for the Ultimate tier. 

Microsoft has been releasing all of its first-party titles on all the tiers, minus the upcoming Core tier, for several years at this point. However, this might not be the case for Activision Blizzard games once its acquisition of the publisher closes.

The European Commission, the European Union regular, in its recently published public version of its report on Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal, says Activision Blizzard games will likely only be made available on the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier.

“The Commission reiterates that, post-Transaction, Activision Blizzard’s games will likely be included in Game Pass Ultimate only, as opposed to (and to the exclusion of) other providers of cloud game streaming, enhancing the importance of Game Pass Ultimate significantly also vis-à-vis non-Windows OS,” reads the report from the European Commission.

“Microsoft has been the first company to heavily invest in cloud gaming as part of its gamer-centric and device-agnostic vision and business models. The launch and growth of Game Pass, including its top-tier Game Pass Ultimate that offers a cloud game streaming functionality, is a building block of such commercial strategy. With Game Pass Ultimate, which accounts for nearly [70-80]% of the current [redacted] million Game Pass subscribers, Microsoft may have a [redacted] which Microsoft discusses in its internal documents.

“Through the direct acquisition of Activision Blizzard’s games, which follows the acquisition of ZeniMax’s games, Microsoft is securing very popular content, such as Call of Duty, for the Game Pass library, including Game Pass Ultimate’s cloud game streaming feature, with the aim of boosting its growth.”

he acquisition has been approved in TurkeySouth AfricaSouth KoreaChina, the European UnionUkraineJapanChileBrazilSaudi Arabia, and Serbia. Microsoft also won its case against the FTC in the US, which was trying to block the deal.

The only place blocking the deal right now is the UK regulator the CMA, which extended its deadline to make its final order on Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition from July 18 to August 29. 

It was reported in July Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are considering giving up some control over cloud-gaming in the UK to appease the CMA. It is reported Microsoft might be willing to sell its cloud gaming rights in the UK to a telecommunications, gaming or internet-based computing company. One person said a private equity company might be interested.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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