Xbox boss says regulator concerns around Activision acquisition are fair

Xbox boss Phil Spencer says the metaverse is like 'a poorly built videogame'


CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer has said that his discussions with various regulators around the world have been “fair and honest” as pertains to the company’s acquisition (opens in new tab) of Activision Blizzard King, the video game publisher responsible for titles as diverse as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.

“I would say the discussions have been very fair and honest. It is a big acquisition, there’s no doubt. Microsoft in its role in the tech industry, is a large tech company, and I do think the discussion around an acquisition of this size is warranted, and I’ve appreciated the time to go spend,” he said.

Spencer made the comments during an interview at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live (opens in new tab) event, as reported by VGC. (opens in new tab)

Spencer has been flitting around the world, apparently, talking to regulators and approval authorities to secure the deal. Brazil has already approved it (opens in new tab), but the UK’s watchdog (opens in new tab) and the US’ FTC (opens in new tab) are both looking into the deal, with another decision deadline set by Europe’s CMA coming soon.

Despite all the scrutiny, Spencer remains says that he thinks the acquisition will eventually be approved by regulators. “I’m confident in that. I was just in London last week, continue to have discussions with all the regulatory boards, and remain confident that we’ll get the deal approved,” he said.

Discourse within the video game industry focuses widely around Call of Duty, with recent headlines here at PC Gamer focusing on concepts like “what if Call of Duty sucked” (opens in new tab) and how an extant Sony deal with Activision has stopped Call of Duty from coming to Xbox’s Game Pass. (opens in new tab)

Spencer, however, has been clear for some time (opens in new tab) that most of Activision Blizzard King’s value for Microsoft is in its overwhelming mobile revenue. We usually just call the corporate giant Activision Blizzard around here, but that King bit of the company focuses on King, part of the mobile gaming segment at the company that makes more money than both PC and console gaming combined. (opens in new tab)

Spencer repeated a few other talking points in the interview, ensuring that Call of Duty will continue to release on PlayStation “as long as that makes sense” and that he’d like to see it released on platforms like Nintendo’s Switch in the future.

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