On Wednesday, the Xbox owner announced it had signed a ten-year agreement to stream Xbox PC Games, as well as Activision Blizzard titles after the acquisition closes, with Japanese cloud gaming company Ubitus.
The latest announcement – Microsoft’s second this week for a third-party cloud gaming platform – comes amid a campaign to convince global regulators to approve the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, amid concerns from bodies that the Xbox owner could build a monopoly in cloud gaming.
Microsoft has been trying to reassure regulators – such as the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the US’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – that it won’t make Activision Blizzard games (most notably Call of Duty) exclusive to its own cloud gaming service, should the deal be approved.
Microsoft used Wednesday’s announcement to repeat its claim that this deal and other partnerships will give more choice to more players.
This claim refers to Microsoft’s commitment to bring the blockbuster shooter series Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch’s nearly 125 million installed base, and GeForce Now’s 25 million users.
Microsoft has said it has offered Sony a 10-year, legally enforceable contract to make each new Call of Duty game available on PlayStation the same day it comes to Xbox – with full content and feature parity.
Sony has argued that such an agreement would be insufficient to address regulators’ concerns because there are “myriad ways Microsoft could withhold or degrade access [which] would be extremely difficult to monitor and police”.