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FTC: Xbox Exclusive Starfield Is “Strong Evidence” for Activision Deal

<em>Starfield</em>is not on the PlayStation, Microsoft <em>Call of Duty</em>means that it can make the same decision about .”/><figcaption class=

enlarge / actually that starfield It won’t be on PlayStation means Microsoft could make the same decision. call of dutyThe FTC claims.

For months now, Microsoft has been swearing up and down that it has no interest in making it. call of duty If the $69 billion Acquisition of Activision is approved, it will be exclusively for Xbox. But as the FTC’s request for an injunction to halt the takeover is headed for public debate this week, federal regulators cite what it calls “strong evidence” that Microsoft’s assurances cannot be trusted. In short, the FTC said, “Microsoft’s actions following its 2021 acquisition of ZeniMax outweigh the words of the defendants.”

Longtime readers and game industry observers will remember that before Microsoft’s purchase of ZeniMax was finalized, executives at both companies made vague hints that future Bethesda games might not become Xbox exclusives. But when the ink dried on the final deal, Microsoft was quick to announce console exclusives for future Bethesda titles. starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI.

Prior to the conclusion of the Activision deal, Microsoft call of duty A multi-platform franchise. acquisition call of duty Microsoft recently said in legal filings that moving away from the PlayStation would be futile. Because franchising is “exactly profitable” [it] Create[s] Sales on multiple platforms”, and structured deals, would not be profitable for Microsoft without the PlayStation. call of duty revenue, the company spends. to make call of duty A monopoly would “make for worse games and anger the gaming community, as much of a game’s popularity comes from the way it brings players together with competing consoles,” wrote Microsoft.

However, the FTC said in a heavily revised response file that Microsoft also risked upsetting the community when it monopolized the ZeniMax franchise. “The Defendants greatly appreciated Microsoft’s concerns that it would ‘upset gamers’ if it banned rivals’ access to Activision content,” the FTC said. “However, the same concerns did not stop the ZeniMax decision.”

The FTC also accused Bethesda exec Pete Hines of PS5 owners. starfieldLack of availability in the console. Despite that apology, the FTC points out that “the right to decide” regarding exclusivity remains in effect.

If these claims sound familiar, it might be because Sony made very similar claims earlier this year, explaining why Microsoft’s promise of cross-platform continuity can’t be trusted. call of duty. In a file filed with the UK CMA, Sony wrote that Microsoft had “a history of non-compliance with commitments” in this sort of thing.

This isn’t the first time the FTC has addressed this claim. In a December administrative filing seeking to block the deal, the regulator cited Bethesda’s post-acquisition monopoly as part of Microsoft’s “record of acquiring and using valuable game content to curb competition from rival consoles.”

that much Minecraft analogy

Instead of focusing on a “strained analogy” for ZeniMax, Microsoft favors Microsoft’s purchase in court. Minecraft– Creator of Mojang, who continued to publish games on various platforms after becoming part of Microsoft. This is a better analogy for: call of dutyMicrosoft writes: Minecraft It was similarly “an established multiplayer cross-platform franchise like COD”.

Microsoft는 <em>Call of Duty</em>cast <em>Minecraft</em>do you treat it the same way?  The FTC isn’t sure.” src=”×384.png” width=”640″ height =”384″ srcset=”×769.png 2x”/><figcaption class=
enlarge / Microsoft call of duty same as treated Minecraft? The FTC isn’t convinced.

However, from the perspective of the FTC, Microsoft simply “concoct[ed] Shoehorn its own category of ‘popular franchises with significant cross-platform play’ Minecraft and call of duty Together.” The FTC also “throws some shade at the multi-hyphenated description (‘legacy, multiplayer, cross-platform’). [Microsoft] necessary[s] to make their case in addition to Call of Duty”, which they noted as “the surest sign of the defendant’s struggle to distinguish between Activision’s content and ZeniMax’s”.

call of duty different MinecraftThe FTC argues in part for the following reasons. Minecraft It is available in almost the same form on phones, tablets and switches. “Microsoft Minecraft You can still play on many other devices aside from rival consoles and subscription and cloud gaming services. context for call of duty It’s very different.”

Nonetheless, the FTC argues that these manufactured classifications are insignificant because Microsoft’s proprietary decision applies to “all future ZeniMax games.” Microsoft has said that “some” future Bethesda games will be Xbox exclusives in 2021, but no Bethesda non-exclusive games have been announced since.

In the file, Microsoft stated that it “plans to operate Activision similar to other recent acquisitions where the studio and creative operations are separate and continue to build games just as we did with the pre-acquisition.” But the FTC says it “should give this court a significant pause” if that similarity extends to Bethesda’s post-acquisition practices.

#FTC #Xbox #Exclusive #Starfield #Strong #Evidence #Activision #Deal

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