Xbox's Phil Spencer Responds To 'Concerns' Over Activision Blizzard Deal

Earlier today, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed that it had "concerns" over Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and now Xbox's Phil Spencer has penned a long public letter in response.

Speaking on the Microsoft website, Spencer recognised that "regulators, game developers and players" have been asking what the acquisition means for the industry, and pointed out that "choice" is crucial for players moving forward:

"To reach the billions of players where they are and no matter what device they play on, we need to embrace choice. Giving players choice in how they play their games makes gaming more accessible and leads to larger, more vibrant communities of players.

Choice is equally important to developers. Developers benefit from having a diversity of distribution and business models for their games. Choice unlocks opportunities for innovation and enables the industry to grow."

Spencer says that Microsoft is expanding choice in two ways - through Xbox Game Pass, and by bringing more games to mobile devices through cloud gaming technology. He's confirmed that the likes of Overwatch, Diablo and Call of Duty will be included in Game Pass in the future, which he says will deliver more value to players and therefore hopefully extend the service's appeal to "mobile phones and any connected device".

Here's a bit more about what he thinks about bringing Activision Blizzard games to xCloud:

"This promises to open up mobile gaming, creating new distribution opportunities for game developers outside of mobile app stores while delivering compelling and immersive experiences for players by using the power of the cloud. And we can extend the joy of playing to devices that people already own, including Smart TVs and laptops."

Spencer then went on to mention that "we will pursue a principled path", reiterating that "the same version of Call of Duty [will be] available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere", along with promising to continue to support cross-play initiatives and "engage with regulators with a spirit of transparency and openness".

"We respect and welcome the hard questions that are being asked. The gaming industry today is robust and dynamic. Industry leaders, including Tencent and Sony, continue to expand their deep and extensive libraries of games as well as other entertainment brands and franchises, which are enjoyed by players everywhere. We believe that a thorough review will show that the combination of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will benefit the industry and players."

So there you go! A big, long response from the Microsoft Gaming CEO there. The CMA had previously stated that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard had five working days to submit proposals regarding their concerns, so we'll have to now wait and see if the UK authority ends up going ahead with a "Phase 2 investigation" or not.

"We’re on a journey to put the fantastic creations of developers into the hands of players around the world, no matter where they play."

What are your thoughts on Phil Spencer's comments here? Let us know down below.