Ubisoft acquires cloud streaming rights for all Activision Blizzard games

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have seemingly relinquished the rights to placate regulators in the UK.
call of duty microsoft exclusive game ubisoft activision blizzard

In what has been a surprising turn of events for Microsoft’s US $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the rights to stream Activision Blizzard games on cloud gaming services have been relinquished to rival French publisher Ubisoft in a new deal.

Ubisoft will have the rights to deliver Activision Blizzard games such as Call of Duty through cloud streaming services, which include its own Ubisoft+ subscription service. The company will also have the rights to license access to other cloud gaming providers and platform holders.

The deal will specifically give Ubisoft “exclusive worldwide rights” in this area, according to a press release, with the exception of “non-exclusive rights to stream in the European Economic Area”.

This deal will apply to “all existing and current Activision Blizzard games as well as those to be released over the next 15 years once Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is completed.”

Microsoft has essentially relinquished its proposed ownership of these very specific rights for Activision Blizzard properties with this move.

The maneuver is likely in response to concerns by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), who blocked Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard in April 2023 on the grounds of “stifling competition in the growing and dynamic market for cloud gaming services”.

As a result, Microsoft has submitted a brand new acquisition deal to the CMA, which will undergo a completely new round of probing and scrutiny, according to Bloomberg.

The deal has already passed regulator scrutiny in a number of regions, including the United States.

The UK CMA remains one of the final hurdles for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, who recently pushed back the merger deadline until October 2023.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran