Microsoft has announced today that in a bid to convince the UK Competition and Markets Authority to approve the attempted takeover of Activision Blizzard, a major new cloud streaming deal has been struck with Ubisoft.
Basically, Microsoft is transferring the cloud streaming rights for all current and future Activision Blizzard console and PC titles (for the next 15 years) to the company, which will also result in them becoming available on Ubisoft Plus.
Here's Microsoft's Brad Smith on what this all means for Xbox going forward:
"Under the restructured transaction, Microsoft will not be in a position either to release Activision Blizzard games exclusively on its own cloud streaming service—Xbox Cloud Gaming – or to exclusively control the licensing terms of Activision Blizzard games for rival services."
Smith says that the new agreement allows Ubisoft to "innovate and encourage different business models in the licensing and pricing of these games on cloud streaming services worldwide", although Microsoft's commitments to the European Commission along with various cloud streaming companies will still be honoured as well.
"The agreement with Ubisoft has been structured so that Microsoft will still acquire the rights needed to honor fully its legal obligations under its commitments to the European Commission, as well as its existing contractual obligations to other cloud game streaming providers, including Nvidia, Boosteroid, Ubitus, and Nware."
Meanwhile, Ubisoft is now actively promoting the acquisition of Activision Blizzard cloud streaming titles on its website and social media, confirming that "players will soon be able to play their favorite Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard games" as part of the Ubisoft Plus service across PC, Xbox consoles and Amazon Luna.
In terms of what this means for the UK, Microsoft now anticipates a swift resolution, although the UK CMA has insisted that the new deal is "not a green light" and it will "carefully and objectively assess the details of the restructured deal".
"This is not a green light. We will carefully and objectively assess the details of the restructured deal and its impact on competition, including in light of third-party comments. Our goal has not changed – any future decision on this new deal will ensure that the growing cloud gaming market continues to benefit from open and effective competition driving innovation and choice."