In the wake of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocking Microsoft’s proposed US $69 million acquisition of Activision Blizzard on the grounds of ‘stifling competition in the growing and dynamic market for cloud gaming services’, Microsoft has secured another 10-year arrangement with a cloud gaming provider.
The provider in question is Nware, as announced on Twitter by Microsoft Vice Chair and President, Brad Smith. The move comes after a number of other recent deals with cloud gaming platforms including Boosteroid and EE, which were secured in the month prior to the CMA ruling.
‘Microsoft and European cloud gaming platform Nware have signed a 10-year agreement to stream PC games built by Xbox on its platform, as well as Activision Blizzard titles after the acquisition closes,’ reads the announcement.
‘While it’s still early in the emerging cloud segment in gaming, this new partnership combined with our other recent commitments will make more popular games available on more cloud game streaming services than they are today.’
Though the cloud gaming sector is far from a popular form of accessing and playing video games – major cloud gaming failures like Google Stadia are a clear indicator of audience interest – there is every possibility the technology will become far more utilised in the next five to ten years.
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That’s certainly a scenario the UK’s CMA sees as a possibility, and one that it’s looking to protect.
Microsoft has long expressed its desire for its games platform to be widespread, and not tied to any one device. Xbox Cloud Streaming technology has gradually rolled out over the last few years to devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and Smart TVs. It’s also accessible on Xbox consoles and PC.
Whether these newer arrangements are enough to appease the UK CMA is yet to be seen. In other news, Activision Blizzard’s CEO expects to see an accelerated appeal process for the proposed merger.