Phil Spencer Says “Xbox Will Exist” Even If the Activision Deal Falls Through as New Rumor Claims the EU May Approve It

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While the rollercoaster ride for Microsoft continues as it tries to purchase Activision-Blizzard Xbox boss Phil Spencer wants to assure everyone that even if the deal doesn’t go through it’s not the end of the world for Xbox. Phil Spencer says the console will continue to exist even without the deal and the deal is mainly about strengthening Microsoft’s mobile gaming division and not about console exclusivity.

From Phil Spencer (via The Times)

“That’s the strategic angle for us. There was nothing about ‘Call of Duty on PlayStation’ or ‘Call of Duty not on PlayStation’.”

This is an important acquisition for us. It’s not some linchpin to the long term — Xbox will exist if this deal doesn’t go through,” added Spencer.

The preceding quotes were given last week and published on February 25 but now it appears there could be hope on the horizon for Microsoft after all. According to anonymous sources, the EU could approve the deal on April 25. It seems the concession licensing deals that Microsoft recently offered may be enough to win over the commission.

From Reuters

“BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) is expected to secure EU antitrust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of Activision (ATVI.O) with its offer of licensing deals to rivals, three people familiar with the matter said, helping it to clear a major hurdle.”

A key sticking point for the deal has been title exclusivity, primarily the Call of Duty franchise, which Sony has voiced concerns over. Microsoft, presumably in an effort to strengthen its own case, recently won access from the FTC to details regarding Sony’s own third-party exclusive deals. Phil Spencer has previously said that COD would still remain available to Sony but Sony’s Jim Ryan countered that statement by saying that would only be true until the current contract expires. Meanwhile, Spencer adds that the deal would only serve to encourage more competition among console makers just as Microsoft recently signed a 10-year agreement to bring Xbox Games to Nintendo and NVIDIA GeForce Now.

Because to me, having us, Sony, and Nintendo doing well in the console market — all of us with strengths and uniqueness and content and capabilities — gives consumers more choice. I’d hate to see consoles go to where phones are where there are only two manufacturers. And, right now, we have three good competitors.

There are still many hurdles to get through, even if the EU approves the acquisition, and it is expected that more changes to the deal could be required before it is allowed to proceed.

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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