back to article Microsoft wants Activision so badly, it's handing streaming rights over to ... Ubisoft?

Microsoft so desperately wants its $68.7 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard to happen that it's willing to divest cloud streaming rights for the publisher's games to France's Ubisoft. The largest acquisition in tech history first surfaced in January 2022, but regulators were quick to tap the brakes over concerns that …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    Here's A Deal

    Microsoft - spin off Rare in to it's own company along with the rights it holds to Goldeneye, Banjo Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day.

    Do that, then you can have Activision.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Here's A Deal

      I would prefer them to give up Arkane and Bethesda

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Here's A Deal

        I can see why, but to me Rare were at their best working with Nintendo. Ever since they have been part of Microsoft they've suffered.

        1. Jedit Silver badge

          "Rare were at their best working with Nintendo"

          Rare were at their best when they were making Knight Lore and you will not convince me otherwise.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: "Rare were at their best working with Nintendo"

            Conker's Bad Fur Day > Knight Lore.


          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: "Rare were at their best working with Nintendo"

            Technically at their best, since their following 3D games were progressively more meh whereas 3D games made by others were better.

            But their most playable games were those similar to their arcade roots. And they probably knew it since went back to arcade games in the NES/SNES era.

          3. Snowy Silver badge

            Re: "Rare were at their best working with Nintendo"

            They where best when they where in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, back then I delivered their copy of the Burton Trader.

            Then they where called Ultimate Play the Game :)

        2. NoneSuch Silver badge

          Re: Here's A Deal

          "Ever since they have been part of Microsoft they've suffered."

          This holds true for every business they ever bought out.

        3. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Here's A Deal

          However I think those days have gone, I would guess that the staff have moved on.

          May be worth seeing if they have done any idie work.

      2. b1k3rdude

        Re: Here's A Deal

        100% on Arkane, jury is still out on Bethesda after the sh*tshow that is Starfield.

    2. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Here's A Deal

      And Sea of Thieves wouldn't have to rely on Azure servers...

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Here's A Deal

      Make Hearthstone have an offline AI option and even release the cards in the same physical form like Magic the Gathering but at affordable prices (not using Chinese slave labour) then they can have it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's A Deal

        or simple stop making shitty card games on computers. they are bad enough waste of space on cardboard

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Here's A Deal

          You might not like them, others do.

  2. MJI Silver badge

    Just looked it up

    Arkane have lost a lot of high up staff.

    I hope they form a new games company and produce Dishonoured quality games for multiplatform.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From 1 would-be monopoly to the next... capitalism.

  4. Gunboat Diplomat

    I think the CMA should hold out for...

    A Morrowind remaster

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: I think the CMA should hold out for...

      And a sequel to Prey?

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: I think the CMA should hold out for...

        Which one?

  5. Wolfclaw

    Interesting bit that caught my eye, Microsoft have to pay to port to Linux? Maybe Activision have their eyes on a small hand held or desktop combo Linux gaming system? if so, maybe Microsoft just handed Linux its desktop day !

    1. Steve Foster


      You have it back to front. MS can be forced to port, but Ubisoft have to pick up the tab for that.

      1. NiceCuppaTea

        Re: @Wolfclaw

        Which makes it simple.... Make the port prohibitivly expensive then you dont have to do it. Meaning that clause is worthless and would only come into play if M$ actually wanted to do the port.

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Virtue signalling

    UK watchdog is trying hard to appear relevant while largely doing nothing.

    Where is action in areas that actually harm UK business?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Virtue signalling

      I thought Stadia proved game streaming doesn't work in the UK anyway for whatever reason (ISPs and Google just blamed each other).

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Virtue signalling

        Not really, it proved that there's no market at that price. It's unlikely many people would be willing to pay more than a Netflix subscription to get it.

        Streaming gaming is far more expensive to provide than prerecorded video, and the consumer needs far more expensive kit too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Virtue signalling

          nah, it's just shite

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Virtue signalling

        Stadia was a serious lag causer on cross platform multiplayer games.

        I was so pleased it failed as it ruined the game for all console users.

        Not sure about PC users as Stadia tended to be matched with consoles.

      3. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Virtue signalling

        Stadia failed because the whole concept of streamed gaming is shit in general, and Stadia's implementation coupled with poor ISP support was extremely shit in particular.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Virtue signalling

          With Destiny 2 cross platform play it was horrific.

          When it died all the console owners celebrated.

          It was also too expensive for what it was.

    2. Dave@Home

      Re: Virtue signalling

      This was covered pretty well by Paul Thurrott recently - rather than look for actual consumer harm, the CMA seem to be assuming harm first and asking them to prove a negative.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Virtue signalling

        Now Thurrot is reporting that the EU thinks that Microsoft's concessions to the CMA go against the EU's own agreement with MS which required MS to licence to competing cloud services.

        Perhaps MS let the cat out of the bag with their response to the CMA and their promise of "competing cloud services" to the EU always meant just Ubisoft, only they didn't tell the EU that.

  7. Inkey

    What ever they conciede or pay as apeasment to CMA will be a pitance to what the data they plan on shnuffling up is worth ...

    And ubi are a black hole at best won't touch their online stuff again.....

    1. MJI Silver badge


      They are a weird company.

      They can release great games then the next be a total disappointment, then great again.

      Look at FarCry a right mix, I really liked 2, but 3 was annoying, yet 3 was reckoned to be brilliant.

      4 was great though!

      AC similiar except I actually enjoyed the first game.

  8. Jon 37

    After 15 years they can go on as they wanted to originally.

    See: the EU web browser antitrust case against Microsoft. The remedy that was imposed. And the fact that as soon as that remedy expired, they started pushing Edge and Bing hard.

  9. NightFox

    Part 2: Microsoft Shocks Market with Acquisition of Ubisoft

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Thought the same thing, though it wouldn't be a shock. More like MS has just openly stated their next acquisition target.

  10. imanidiot Silver badge

    Should be blocked on size alone

    As in title. Just market share and size alone should block this ridiculous merger from going through, and I think the FTC losing the court case is purely down to completely incompetent lawyers bungling the case because they didn't understand what's at stake. If you read the court documents it seems as if the court case was pretty much entirely about whether or not Microsoft would allow Call of Duty to be available on other platforms or not. Which is only a tiny fraction of the problem.

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