Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard

Ubisoft has the opportunity to build their own cloud streaming business, but I would be very surprised if they went down that path. What this actually does is sell the rights to Ubisoft, who can then license them to whoever they want.

As a third-party publisher without a platform of their own, Ubisoft would have no agenda beyond maximizing returns on their investment. So World of Starcraft streaming rights could be licensed to Sony and Microsoft and Nvidia and Nintendo, with Ubisoft taking a cut each time.

And that’s a great thing. It means all those Activision games will be playable on your Switch, if Nintendo wants it. They’ll be playable everywhere with a solid internet connection.

No one ever said anything about existing Microsoft-owned games - this proposal is strictly for Activision Blizzard King titles.

You’re right, edited that out. Doesn’t change my point any.

Well, ya, but that won’t happen, because Elder Scrolls isn’t part of this deal.

EDIT: Sorry, didn’t see the follow up things.

I had assumed they were going to use Stadia tech and make their own steaming platform, but that didn’t work out so well.

Hah edited that out too. Brainfart on my part. Hey, that rhymed!

Re using someone else’s tech, that’s only part of the problem. It’s very difficult to make money if you don’t have unfettered free access to a) your own tech b) your own geographically disparate datacenters c) your own content to stream. Of those three things Ubisoft will only have C.

Ubisoft was smart not to enter the gamestreaming market. They should double-down on that decision and become a broker for their own content and the Actilizzard stuff. You want to stream Fart Cried 7 and Call to Booty 12? Pay me. You want exclusive streaming rights for Crush Bandipoop 4? Pay me more.

I would play this game.

With pizza.

Did Microsoft just kingmaker Ubisoft in UK in regards to game streaming rights?

Yes, this applies to every country not in the “european economic area” which now includes the UK. If you live in Europe, Microsoft retains streaming rights for all Activision titles there. Kinda confusing.

Only if streaming actually ever takes off maybe.

With the caveat that, for the next 10 years anyway, the following applies:

Is that from the MicroVizzard agreement with the European Commission?

Yes it is.

Ahh I missed that-- good catch! So europe is out ahead of everybody again. Must be nice to have good government. Other than the taxes, I suppose.

How would this actually work?
Does MS have to give a free license to stream the game, to all the other streaming providers? But they only can stream the game if they bought the license to the game from Microsoft?

This seems weird.

I assume the license would be validated through some mechanism with various storefronts. So if you bought Call of Duty: United Offensive on Steam in 2005 and want to stream via xCloud, it would authenticate to Steam to verify you own it then play on Microsoft’s servers. Same as GFN works now.

This is my shocked face.

Got to hand it to MS, it really looked like the UK was going to block the deal there for a bit.

Yeah, we were told the CMA’s not for turning.