Microsoft Tried To Acquire At Least One Mobile Games Publisher, Says CMA’s Final Report

Unfortunately, the CMA report did not name the publisher due to legal reasons.

Story Highlights

  • CMA’s final report says that Microsoft tried to acquire at least one mobile games publisher, but it has been unnamed in the document.
  • The report further notes that Activision is quite strong when it comes to the mobile gaming market, and its games on the mobile gaming store would increase competition.
  • The UK watchdog thinks that the sale outcome can be earned by less anti-competitive means than the buyout, and Microsoft could acquire a different publisher, which has been its strategy.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority has blocked the Activision Blizzard merger because of cloud gaming’s anti-competitiveness concerns.

New details have started pouring in from the depths of the CMA’s final report after the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard acquisition saga ended a major phase in the UK recently. In the report, CMA also drops hints at an acquisition by Microsoft where it attempted to buy a mobile games publisher. Nevertheless, the buyout appeared to flop and did not reach a conclusion.

The report teases at least one mobile games publisher but there could be multiple judging by the wording of the report. Unfortunately, the mobile games publisher has been unnamed, which was likely done due to legal reasons.

However, we also consider that this could be achieved by less anti-competitive means than the Merger, and Microsoft could acquire ‘attractive content and experience with player engagement and acquisition’ by buying a different mobile games publisher. This appears to have been Microsoft’s strategy – it attempted to buy [Redacted] in [Redacted], and said [Redacted],” mentions the CMA’s final report.

The final report by Competition and Markets Authority accepts “Microsoft’s submission that Activision has significant strength in mobile gaming.” Moreover, it considers “that the presence of Activision’s games on any mobile gaming store would enhance its competitiveness.” Regardless, the UK watchdog thinks that the sale outcome can be earned by less anti-competitive means than the buyout, hinting at the other buyout above.

It is worth mentioning that the CMA’s final report would likely have mentioned the name of the studio if Microsoft publically revealed the acquisition in the past. In other words, we can expect this to be a hidden acquisition attempt by Microsoft and the unnamed mobile games publisher since the name has been redacted. 

The final report also talks about some other interesting specifics from the Activision Blizzard merger. For instance, the document talks about the difficulty surrounding the evolution of the Call of Duty franchise in the next ten years in Nintendo Switch. It mentions how the benefit may not remain constant due to the changing customer or the console behavior in the future.

The changing nature of the console market makes it harder to make any predictions about how a particular retail product (for example, CoD [REDACTED]) might evolve, or how customer behaviour might develop.”

In the document, the Competition and Markets Authority also noted that bringing Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch could divert the competition and make the handheld a closer competition to Xbox, which would not be in Microsoft’s interest. Previously, CMA has suggested that Nintendo Switch’s tech limitations will not allow it to run Call of Duty, adding further fuel to the rumors surrounding the decision.

The Competition and Markets Authority formally blocked the notable merger, which will prove to be a major hurdle for the acquisition moving forward. Regardless, some enticing facts were sighted in the report, like the company’s attempt to acquire mobile games publishers.

In the past, it was thought that CMA would approve the Microsoft merger of Activision Blizzard, with a report suggesting that the buyout will “not result in a substantial lessening of competition.” However, the acquisition was reportedly blocked by CMA due to cloud gaming’s anti-competitiveness as its primary reason. 

Similar Reads: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s Early Impressions Hint At Another Lousy PC Version.

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CMA Final Report

Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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