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Microsoft to sell off Activision cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft in bid for UK approval

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pasterpl

Member
People miss the streaming rights in the ubi tweet. Probably MS if forcing Ubi to use MS Azure for this as well.
 
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Kenneth Haight

Gold Member
What part of this is ‘shady’ or ‘pathetic’?

This is a clear as clear can be. It seems to remove the CMA’s concerns about Cloud, guarantees ALL Activision games on Ubisoft + and could even be a lifeline for Ubisoft as a struggling producer.
You are not seriously expecting me to applaud this deal because it gives Ubisoft a "lifeline"
 

Ozriel

M$FT
Unwilling to accept what again? I don't recall anyone suggesting Microsoft wasn't willing to make deals to get this acquisition done. That's probably been the most obvious thing about this whole ordeal. Brad Smith was in Brussels saying he had a contract for Sony in his pocket.

I’m not talking about Microsoft here. My response was to someone who was confused why MS is fine with giving out so much control with respect to the likes of COD.

My point is it’s been clear for a while that MS viewed this deal as a significant entry point to Mobile. They’ve been signing deals to keep COD on other platforms for ages now. Some people have just been unwilling to accept it’s always been about revenue and Mobile, even when we have leaked mails showing this focus.
 

Three

Member
What an utterly bizarre agreement, Ubisoft must be laughing all the way to the bank.

They’ve inherited COD watch them drop xdefiant like a hot potato.
They've got the cloud streaming rights not the microtransactions revenue or game sales rights. They will not drop xdefiant because of this.
 

Clear

CliffyB's Cock Holster
Doubtful. Anything that self-serving would increase the chance of the deal being rejected.

Well yes, but it depends on whether the point that the CMA are hung up on is something that they (MS) would never concede. This at least shows them to be willing to be a little bit flexible, even if its too little to appease CMA.

Let's not forget the CMA's primary rationale is that the consolidation of massive IP onto the dominant infrastructure provider into the space creates a potential for monopoly as its something that no other entity can compete against now or potentially in the future. For instance Sony has the IP but not the infrastructure, whereas Google or AWS has the infrastructure but not the IP.
 

Vox Machina

Banned
so it's just a proposal


let's hope the CMA blocks it again


Can't see them doing that. This fundamentally solves the CMAs issue. Quoting myself from the other thread:

There are two divestitures that would be structural in nature that the CMA can reasonably accept and still remain in line with their May report, if they require it:


1. MSFT fully divests the xCloud business in the UK, this would theoretically remove MSFTs ability to foreclose access to ATVI games to only their cloud gaming offering, but this is a bit heavy-handed and definitely would present UK gamers with a definitively worse situation than the rest of the world. In my mind the better solution is

2. MSFT divests the publishing rights to ATVI games for Cloud Gaming services that serve the UK. This is a structural remedy under the CMA Act and it would fully remove MSFTs ability to foreclose access to Cloud Gaming services that don't already have an access deal in place (although they could just seek one of those through the EU remedy package). From a UK consumer perspective the only thing that could be worse here is prices for them to access cloud gaming services could possibly be higher (because services would have to buy licensing rights to ATVI games for UK consumers as opposed to getting them for free through the EU remedy package).

Option 2 was the one they went with (except instead of just the UK it's worldwide). Now any cloud gaming providers (including Sony, if they launch a streaming service in a subscription format) can buy a license for ActiBlizz content and Luna gets it through their existing Ubisoft+ channel.
 

Vox Machina

Banned
Can you really translate advanced Direct X games to Linux?

Sure, using Proton. And the deal requires Ubisoft to pay MSFT a fee to commission ports just like would be done today for any games a publisher wanted ports for.

Over the next 15 years

If the CMA accept this they have been leaned on. Another nothing proposal.

Nope, the streaming publishing rights for those games are in perpetuity.
 

Bernoulli

M2 slut
Can't see them doing that. This fundamentally solves the CMAs issue. Quoting myself from the other thread:



Option 2 was the one they went with (except instead of just the UK it's worldwide). Now any cloud gaming providers (including Sony, if they launch a streaming service in a subscription format) can buy a license for ActiBlizz content and Luna gets it through their existing Ubisoft+ channel.
No because it is limited to 15 years
 
I don't know or care anymore, all I wanted was more games for Gamepass but this has gone on so long I'm not bothered if it goes through or not. The CMA blocked for a pathetic reason but they blocked nonetheless 🤣
 

Ozriel

M$FT
What an utterly bizarre agreement, Ubisoft must be laughing all the way to the bank.

They’ve inherited COD watch them drop xdefiant like a hot potato.

All they’re getting is people paying for Ubisoft +. MS still gets the sales and MTX revenue

Absolutely bizarre but as others have said MS will be purchasing Ubi fairly soon then.

That’s a crazy thing to say, since any attempt to purchase Ubisoft would run into massive regulatory challenges for this reason.
In fact, MS has just made it much harder for anyone to buy Ubisoft
 

Vox Machina

Banned
The CMA seems to want their folks to pay more if not jump over more hurdles to get the same shit as the rest of the world. I don't get what they're trying to achieve.

It's a double-edged sword. Conceivably non-EU consumers may have to pay higher prices for cloud streaming services with ABK content (because those services would have to buy licenses/licensing from Ubisoft as opposed to getting it for free from MSFT) but it also opens up the door to cloud streaming subscription services in addition to cloud streaming BYOG services.

Cloud gaming is saved?

Sony looking at the lifeless corpse of Gaikai like... "FINALLY"!! 😂
 

Raelgun

Member
This deal seems to specifically refer to cloud streaming - so services like xCloud / Geforce Now / Amazon Luna / etc...

What's to stop MS from dropping all native Activision Blizzard games for non Xbox / PC platforms in the future?

All these cloud streamed Activision Blizzard games could be running off an Xbox / PC version on a server


So say if you wanted to play Diablo 5 on PS5 - the only option would be to stream it via Ubisoft+ Cloud.... what a twist that would be :goog_confused:
 

Vox Machina

Banned
No because it is limited to 15 years

Still perpetual for all those titles released within that 15 years. Previously the CMA accepted remedies with only 5 year time horizons. This remedy is for triple the time horizon as previously accepted deals by the CMA and maintains the 'perpetual' portion that's important to the CMA.
 

skit_data

Member
That's random af.
My first thought was whether Ubisoft even have the technical knowledge and capacity to absorb and maintain it?
 

Vox Machina

Banned
And after 15 years?

I think the expression is ‘kicking the can down the road’

Larger players like Sony have already kicked the can down the road for over a decade now. Sony bought Gaikai in 2012 and still don't have a competent cloud streaming solution. The CMA is giving them 15 more years to get their shit in order, should they wish to. Nvdia managed to spin something up at least some customers want to pay for in less time, WITHOUT ActiBlizz content. You don't think others can do it in 15 years? At that point Sony will have owned Gaikai for 26 years. You think they'd pick up the phone at some point during that time and make a deal for some content, right?
 

Vox Machina

Banned
Inserting only half of your dick is still considered sex, you know.

Topher Topher makes a great point here.

It's my understanding that the CMA has previously accepted remedies with 5-year time horizons. This is not only a true divestment, it's for triple the time horizon and all the licensing rights sold to Ubisoft within that time horizon are Ubisofts forever.
 

Yoboman

Gold Member
There’s likely a clause that if UbiSoft is sold the rights immediately revert. Marvel has a similar one with the Spider-Man (and previously X-Men/FF) movie rights. If Sony ever sells off Colombia Pictures or eliminates the Colombia Pictures brand, the Spider-Man movie rights immediately revert to Marvel.
Doesn't this only exist because Microsoft can't have the rights in the UK
 

Vox Machina

Banned
This is not a divesment. It's basically a 15-year sub-licesing contract.

If that was the case then the licenses for those titles would revert, which they aren't. The publishing rights for those titles are Ubisoft's forever.

The market looks like it's viewing this pretty positively. Shares of ACTI are up over $1 premarket. Highest trade was at $92.12.
 
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Topher

Gold Member
So Ubisoft will have permanent rights to stream or license streaming for ABK games released over the next 15 years which means Ubisoft will be able to license these games to other providers......including Microsoft.

Season 2 Nbc GIF by The Office
 

The Fuzz damn you!

Gold Member
Huh…

I guess MS foresees at least two more mainstream hardware generations before the cloud takeover, then.

Also, if this goes through, MS will have brand new feature-packed can’t-be-missed versions of their tent pole titles out the minute this deal expires.
 

geary

Member
What if they move the 3 studios that do CoD games under Bethesda or XGS? The games they will put out are not published by Activision, so they do not need to be on Ubisoft+.
 
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adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
This means MS will now be able to monetize cloud gaming subscription services as well as BYOG cloud gaming services.

True.

Ubisoft are gonna pay them for the rights anyway.


Ubisoft will compensate Microsoft for the cloud streaming rights to Activision’s games through a one-off payment and through a market-based wholesale pricing mechanism, including an option that supports pricing based on usage. The terms of the transaction will allow Ubisoft to commercialise these rights to any other cloud gaming services provider (including to Microsoft itself). Ubisoft will have the ability to license out to third parties the cloud streaming rights to Activision’s games under any business model of its choosing, including buy-to-play, multigame subscription services, or any other model that may arise. Ubisoft will also be able, for a fee, to require Microsoft to adapt Activision’s titles to operating systems other than Windows, such as Linux, if it decides to use or license out the cloud streaming rights to Activision’s titles to a cloud gaming service that runs a non-Windows operating system.
 

Nonehxc

Member
Does Ubisoft have money to buy them? I mean, they could sell them for 1$ to Ubisoft if they wished to, but wouldn't that be like very sus to the CMA? 🤔
 

Helghan

Member
The CMA just made more games available to more players.
When everybody plays we all win, right?
It's about cloud gaming, which you can do on any device. You just need a subscription to xCloud. There never was a hardware hinderance to being able to play their games
 

Pelta88

Member
That is one hell of a blow to Microsoft's stated future plans to the cloud. The UK is Microsoft's second largest market for gaming as they have stated.

Does this mean their overall cloud gaming ambitions are dead? Without the UK, it sure looks like it.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
Right. This comes across to me more of a behavioral remedy than structural. CMA has frowned on those previously so we will see what they say this time.
It's probably making an assumption that if cloud streaming is truly a nascent market that 15 years is long enough for it to mature without the added influence Microsoft would have by controlling ABK games. It is definitely structural in that Microsoft can't take control of streaming rights for ABK games already released once 15 years is up, meaning they won't have the power to force people to their streaming service by making 15 years' worth of games exclusive to it. They'll only be able to leverage new games.

This addresses CMA concerns about Microsoft forcing everyone out in 10 years. The CMA can't possibly argue that one ABK game released 15 years from now would give Microsoft an unfair advantage in cloud streaming.
 

Vox Machina

Banned
That is one hell of a blow to Microsoft's stated future plans to the cloud. The UK is Microsoft's second largest market for gaming as they have stated.

Does this mean their overall cloud gaming ambitions are dead? Without the UK, it sure looks like it.

Don't see how this is the case at all. Nothing changes from a consumer perspective. ActiBlizz games will still come to xCloud.
 

Clintizzle

Lord of Edge.
- Microsoft sell Cloud to Ubi
- Sony buys Ubisoft
- Apple buys Playstation + Ubi
- MS cancels Xbox and leaves gaming
- Apple makes all gaming exclusive to Apple VR
- Everybody dies
 

Nonehxc

Member
It just dawned on me...

Phil Spencer really likes rapey and abusing publishers. 😅

First ActiBlizz with Bobby Kotick and all that shit, now Ubisoft with the Guillemots and the horrible higher ups there. 😂

Guess he's cleaning the gaming industry of all that human shit! 😅
 
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