UK CMA Set To Approve The Deal
According to the latest reports, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) may well give the go-ahead to the biggest-ever gaming deal for Microsoft to buy Activision/Blizzard. In my article, Microsoft To Buy Activision Blizzard For $70B of July 2023, I outlined the deal and what it means.
Since then, Microsoft has agreed to sell the cloud gaming rights to French rival, Ubisoft, which the CMA apparently says, “this substantially addresses previous concerns and opens the door to the deal being cleared.” The acquisition deal expires on 18 October so we should expect an announcement within the next week or so.
Which Games Could Be Coming To Game Pass?
More than 50 games could be heading to Game Pass if the deal goes through, including all of the Call Of Duty franchise, Diablo, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk, Angry Birds, and possibly World Of Warcraft, so this will make the Game Pass subscription service even more enticing for $10 per month. As I’ve already mentioned, there are hundreds of games to choose from, including many from Electronic Arts (Origin) included in the subscription. I’ve also just discovered that if you link your Xbox Game Pass account to Ubisoft Connect, there is a small selection of their games also available, including Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and Far Cry 5.
The deal will make Game Pass more attractive
As far as I’m concerned, this deal is good for gamers, especially when subscribing to Game Pass, because it means that we don’t have to fork out $70 for a AAA game that we may not like or end up abandoning way past the refund time limit. A case in point, for me anyway, is Starfield – a huge space RPG that I started playing on day one on Game Pass. It’s an excellent game from Bethesda, meticulously designed and allowing almost infinite space travel. However, one has to invest an enormous amount of time in such an RPG and I’m not sure I can do the game the justice it deserves. Besides, nowadays I’m more interested in games that I can dip into, for an instant thrill, such as racing games. In fact, on 10th October, the new Forza Motorsport will be available on Game Pass and since it will take up roughly the same amount of disk space (130GB) as Starfield, I’ll delete that game and get racing.
As a personal opinion and since Crystal Dynamics of Tomb Raider fame is owned by the Embracer Group, a company that appears to have overstretched itself recently, what with closing down recently acquired games studios and announcing hundreds of layoffs within the group, it would have been encouraging to see Microsoft snapping up Crystal Dynamics. Unfortunately, Amazon Games has snapped up the publishing rights to the upcoming Tomb Raider game, so how that’s going to pan out is anyone’s guess.