Microsoft is trying to support the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by announcing a new 10-year deal

UPDATE 3/15/23: Another day, another announcement of an agreement by Microsoft with a third party to support its $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard deal.

Today’s turn is Ubitus, a cloud streaming company that offers a games catalog in some countries and whose servers elsewhere power a range of cloud games for Nintendo Switch. Xbox boss Phil Spencer announced today that Microsoft has inked a 10-year deal with Ubitus for “a 10-year partnership to “stream Xbox PC games as well as Activision Blizzard titles after the acquisition closes.”

Microsoft previously announced agreements with Nvidia GeForce Now and Nintendo for access to Call of Duty if and when the deal is approved by regulators. Today brings another announcement aimed at impacting regulatory approval – but perhaps also a hint at what Call of Duty might look like on Nintendo hardware.

“Few interesting aspects of this deal, not the least of which is where Microsoft games will end up,” gaming industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls wrote on Twitter in response to Microsoft’s announcement. “Could this help bring Call of Duty etc to Switch/Switch 2?”

ORIGINAL STORY 14/3/23: Xbox today announced another 10-year deal, this time with Ukrainian cloud gaming platform Boosteroid, as Microsoft continues to seek support for its $68.7 billion deal with Activision Blizzard.

Boosteroid’s four million users will soon be able to access Xbox PC games via their streaming subscription, and Activision Blizzard PC games will also be available if (or rather if) Microsoft’s acquisition takes place.

It’s a very similar deal to the one Microsoft previously announced with Nvidia to bring Xbox PC games with its GeForce Now streaming service.

Newscast: Where is Microsoft going next to finalize its deal with Activision Blizzard?

Additionally, Microsoft has a 10-year deal in the pipeline to bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo platform(s) — again if the buyout happens.

Today’s announcement adds another feather to Microsoft’s cap as it tries to reassure regulators that paying $68.7 billion for Activision Blizzard wouldn’t result in more limited access to blockbusters like Call of Duty.

“We believe in the power of games to bring people together. That’s why Xbox is committed to giving everyone more ways to play their favorite games on any device,” Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said today. “Delivering Xbox PC games to Boosteroid members, including Activision Blizzard titles like Call of Duty, once the deal closes is another step towards realizing that vision.”

The announcement also spotlights a company based in Kiev and Kharkiv, Ukraine, cities that made headlines last year after the Russian invasion. Two of its offices in Kharkiv were hit by Russian missile attacks.

“Boosteroid shares Microsoft’s vision of bringing games to as many people, places and platforms as possible,” said its boss Ivan Shvaichenko. “It has long been our goal to give gamers the ability to enjoy their favorite titles on any device in close proximity. Today’s announcement is another step in that direction. Additionally, with our Ukraine-based development team, we appreciate Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to Ukraine and we will work together on an initiative that will support our local game development community to continue investing in the country’s economic recovery.”

Microsoft has donated a significant amount to Ukraine since the Russian invasion, the company’s President, Brad Smith, continued.

“This partnership builds on the $430 million in technology and financial support we have provided to Ukraine since the illegal invasion of Russia, and illustrates the steps we will continue to take to support Ukraine’s 160,000 software developers,” said Smith.

“It also complements our recent agreements with Nintendo and Nvidia and gives regulators even more clarity that our acquisition of Activision Blizzard will bring Call of Duty to far more devices than before.”

Gaming industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls wrote on Twitter today that Microsoft’s boosteroid announcement is “comparable (in strategy) to the GeForce Now deal and not directly competitive with Game Pass,” creating “synergies.”

Eurogamer was present in Brussels last month when Smith, fresh from talks aimed at convincing EU regulators, waved a copy of the 10-year deal that Microsoft is still hoping Sony will sign Grant PlayStation equal access to Call of Duty.

Since then, reports have suggested that the EU’s European Commission will ultimately view the deal favorably – although issues remain with both the US Federal Trade Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

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