Six game companies submit letters backing Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Minecraft. Credit: Mojang.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has listed responses from six companies that have shared support for Microsoft‘s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Today (March 16), the CMA published a total of nine reports related to the acquisition. The reports include responses to its provisional findings from Microsoft, Activision and Sony; along with responses from six game companies that have responded to the inquiry by backing the purchase.

While five of the six “market participant” reports have been submitted anonymously, the first is from Scottish-based company 4J Studios, which is best known for bringing Minecraft to console and helping port a number of Microsoft-owned Rare titles to Xbox.

In a submission by 4J co-founder Chris van der Kuyl, the studio points to its “fairly unique position of working as a partner with Microsoft”.

“We had a period of transition from the ownership of Mojang AB from its original shareholders to the current position where it is wholly owned by Microsoft,” the submission stated.

“During that period, which lasted several years, Microsoft has honoured every element of the agreements that they inherited and also extended our relationship significantly to cover new formats, like Nintendo Switch, as well as many other content enhancements.”

Minecraft 1.20 update. CREDIT: Mojang

4J Studios added that Microsoft has “actively encouraged” the studio to pursue work with other publisher’s titles, and subsequently “do not see the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard as anything other than a natural evolution of the industry”.

A number of the investigation’s anonymous submissions share similar views.

While Participant B refutes Sony’s claim that Call Of Duty is a “must-have” game for consoles and says the acquisition will not harm consumers, independent game developer Participant C states it believes Microsoft will honour its pledge to make the shooter available on Nintendo Switch.

Meanwhile, Participant D has anonymously stated it doesn’t “expect the merger to pose any risks to the distribution of our own games on Xbox or other console”.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Credit: Activision Blizzard.
‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’. CREDIT: Activision Blizzard.

Participant E has alleged that sales on PlayStation are “growing stagnant”, the opposite of its experience with Xbox, and claimed the acquisition will “help to create a more level playing field between Xbox and PlayStation which, at this point in time, is sorely needed”.

Finally, Participant F has claimed arguments against Microsoft’s acquisition are “slightly exaggerated and out of proportion,” and suggested a “change in scenery” may be beneficial to Activision Blizzard workers, referencing the company’s ongoing sexual harassment lawsuits.

Microsoft’s main opponent throughout the proposed acquisition has been Sony, which recently claimed that Microsoft could sabotage PlayStation versions of Call Of Duty if it successfully purchased the developer.

In other gaming news, Creative Assembly has opened a new studio in Newcastle.

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