Microsoft will sell cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft to Activision to get UK approval

Technology giant Microsoft will sell the rights to cloud streaming of Activision Blizzard games to French company Ubisoft, writes The Verge.

The move should reassure British regulators who are concerned about the impact of the $68.7 billion deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard on competition. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is expected to make a decision on the deal by October 18.

“To address the concerns about the impact of the proposed acquisition on cloud game streaming raised by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, we are restructuring the transaction to acquire a narrower set of rights,” says Microsoft president Brad Smith.

According to him, the deal with Ubisoft should include all current Activision Blizzard games for PC and consoles, as well as those planned for release in the next 15 years. The agreement will be valid for an indefinite period and will come into effect after the merger is completed.

The agreement means that if Microsoft completes the acquisition, it will not be able to release Activision Blizzard games exclusively on Xbox Cloud Gaming. Microsoft will also not be able to exclusively control the licensing terms for Activision Blizzard games on competing services.

In return, Ubisoft will control the rights to stream Activision Blizzard games outside the EU, as well as transfer licenses for Microsoft games for inclusion in Xbox Cloud Gaming.

“Ubisoft will compensate Microsoft for the cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard’s games through a one-off payment and through a market-based wholesale pricing mechanism, including an option that supports pricing based on usage,” explains Smith. “It will also give Ubisoft the opportunity to offer Activision Blizzard’s games to cloud gaming services running non-Windows operating systems.”

Ubisoft will also add Activision Blizzard games to its Ubisoft Plus Multi Access subscription, which is available on PC, Xbox, Amazon Luna, and PlayStation through Ubisoft Plus Classics.

The UK Authority first blocked the deal with Microsoft in April, and then agreed to negotiate with the Xbox manufacturer after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lost in court in the United States.