Everyone is aware that the Xbox Activision deal includes smartphone game developer King, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft has stated more than once that the main goal of this acquisition deal is to open a wider door for investment in smartphone games.
However, with the completion of the deal, which was supposed to be completed before the end of this year, stalled, it appears that Microsoft was and is still trying to buy an unknown smartphone game developer. This is what was discovered by new documents published through the CMA (via VGC).
The CMA said in its new statements that it had worked to disrupt the Xbox Activision deal due to its negative impact on the future of the competition in the cloud services games market.
Microsoft, for its part, stated that the entire acquisition process revolves around opening a new field for the development of smartphone games under the new Xbox mobile platform section, in addition to a newly developed game store through which other stores such as Google Play and the App Store can compete.
After months of investigation, the CMA on Wednesday published its final 418-page report on the deal, which revealed that Microsoft had previously attempted to buy a different mobile game publisher. The recently published documents stated the following:
We note from Microsoft’s introduction that Activision has great strength in mobile games, and we believe that the presence of Activision games in any mobile game store will enhance its competitiveness.
However, we also consider that this can be achieved by means that are less detrimental to competition than a merger and that Microsoft can obtain and gain engaging content and experience with player interaction by purchasing a different mobile game publisher. This appears to have been Microsoft’s strategy – it tried to buy Covered in Covered and said Covered.
So it seems that the competition that Microsoft wants to enter into is wide open, not only in the face of Sony alone but also in the face of Google and Apple. Where it plans to launch a competing game store on smartphones, and this apparently will not satisfy Google and Apple, which we expect to have exerted pressure on decision-makers to block this deal.
In any case, the Xbox Activision deal is still available. However, Microsoft needs to fight harder and for more time. Therefore, we may wait until next year 2024 to complete the deal if Microsoft does not abandon it. During this, the latter may resort to buying other mobile game developers to continue its plans to expand its share in the smartphone games market.