The EU Is Trying To Stop Call of Duty Coming To Game Pass
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision has been much more complicated than it first appeared. What was once just a "mere" $68.7 billion cash transaction is now a jostle for monopolisation, with Microsoft playing chess and governing bodies landing checkmate on every other turn.
At the heart of the board is Activision's main piece, the queen, aka Call of Duty. It's the AAA blockbuster franchise that Microsoft wanted to get under its wings, but it's also proved to be the stumbling block we didn't anticipate.
After seeing many governing bodies around the world, especially the United Kingdom, the European Union has now opened its expected investigation. The organisation claims that not only could this deal monopolise the gaming industry, but it could have massive ramifications on the wider tech businesses if Call of Duty comes to Xbox's Game Pass.
The European Union Opens Investigations Into Microsoft x Activision Deal
Similar to many other governing bodies, the European Union has now launched an investigation into the deal, fearing that the upcoming partnership could push Sony and other gaming giants out of the market. The Commission now has 90 working days, until March 23, 2023, to make a final ruling on the deal.
"By acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft may foreclose access to Activision Blizzard's console and PC video games, especially to high-profile and highly successful games (so-called 'AAA' games) such as 'Call of Duty'," said the EU Commission.
Xbox's Phil Spencer has previously claimed that Call of Duty will always stay on PlayStation, although Sony contradicted this statement by saying Microsoft only offered it an "inadequate" three-year offer. Sony also blocked Game Pass coming to PS, which could have served as Microsoft's workaround to getting CoD on Sony consoles without lining their competitors' pockets.
The European Union Wants To Stop Call of Duty Coming To Game Pass
It's not just the gaming sphere which the EU is worried about though, instead, it fears that Call of Duty and other Activision titles coming to Xbox's Game Pass would result in non-windows PC distributors being snubbed, such as Apple's iMac.
"The Commission is concerned that Microsoft may reduce the ability of rival providers of PC operating systems to compete with Microsoft’s operating system Windows, by combining Activision Blizzard’s games and Microsoft’s distribution of games via cloud game streaming to Windows," claimed the EU Commission, adding, "This would discourage users to buy non-Windows PCs."
So, it appears that Microsoft's wish of having Call of Duty haemorrhaged to its own devices is faltering, and we may never get premium CoD titles coming to Game Pass - that doesn't mean those old-school games couldn't crop up though...