The companies state that the merger should be approved for various reasons varying from the necessity to provide greater competition to PlayStation to improving the working environment for Activision's staff.
In early February, The UK Competition and Markets Authority published its provisional findings regarding its investigation into Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard where it argued that the merger could reduce competition in the console and cloud gaming markets.
The regulator has urged Microsoft to provide solutions to address its concerns. While the regulator stated that it would prefer structural remedies such as divesting the Call of Duty intellectual property, Microsoft has suggested behavioral remedies, which involve making Call of Duty available on multiple platforms for the next decade. The tech giant has already signed multiple deals with companies including Nintendo, NVIDIA, Boosteroid, and Ubitus.
Sony later expressed its fears that there's is a chance that even if the Call of Duty franchise will still be available on PlayStation, Microsoft might sabotage it by increasing the cost of the shooter series on the platform or even potentially lower the quality and performance of the game on PlayStation.
Most recently, the CMA revealed responses to its provisional findings from the three companies at the center of the situation. The documents reiterate many of the arguments that the companies have previously put forward, however, apart from Sony, Microsoft, and Activision Blizzard's responses, the CMA also provided feedback from six third-party developers and publishers who operate in the UK.
All six companies state that the deal should go ahead for different reasons varying from the necessity to provide greater competition to PlayStation to enhancing the working environment for Activision's staff.
The only company that disclosed its name to the public is 4J Studios, a British developer that contributed to the development of Minecraft for consoles, both prior to and following Microsoft's acquisition of the game in 2014.
4J Studios stated that it has "never been under any pressure to favor Microsoft-owned formats" while it was working on Minecraft when the IP was already purchased by Microsoft. According to the studio head Chris van der Kuyl, instead, 4J was encouraged by Microsoft to develop unique content for Nintendo formats, such as the "Mario Mash Up" pack.
"Microsoft have also brought significant stability and rigour to our contractual and commercial relationships and have been both fair and professional in all our dealings with them," van der Kuyl said.
"The games industry is now the world’s largest entertainment industry and, as such, it is inevitable that companies like Microsoft need to gain access to more content and talent to justify their continued investment into large scale hardware platforms such as Xbox. We do not see the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard as anything other than a natural evolution of the industry and it does not give us any cause for concern for our own future opportunities," he added.
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