This morning CEO of Gaming for Microsoft, Phil Spencer, issued a new statement on the Activision-Blizzard acquisition. As posted on Microsoft’s Blog, it confirms a few details about the future including what titles would arrive on Game Pass and which may be exclusive.
The statement from Spencer specifically states a few key aspects:
- Major titles such as Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Diablo will all land in Game Pass.
We are expanding choice in two ways: through the creation of Game Pass, which gives players a subscription option; and by bringing more games to mobile platforms, including through our cloud game streaming technology. Subscription services like Game Pass make gaming more affordable and help players from all over the world find their next favorite game. Game Pass empowers developers to bring more games to more players, not fewer. We intend to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games – including Overwatch, Diablo and Call of Duty – available in Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities. By delivering even more value to players, we hope to continue growing Game Pass, extending its appeal to mobile phones and any connected device.
- They will have a strong focus on delivering experiences to mobile devices.
Bringing more games to mobile platforms, however, requires new capabilities. The expertise that the teams at Activision Blizzard bring in developing games for mobile platforms will help us understand how to create games that engage players around the world. In addition, we hope that players will be eager to play traditional console games from Activision Blizzard on other platforms via our cloud game streaming technology. This promises to open up mobile gaming, creating new distribution opportunities for game developers outside of mobile app stores while delivering compelling and immersive experiences for players by using the power of the cloud. And we can extend the joy of playing to devices that people already own, including Smart TVs and laptops.
- They do not intend to make titles like Call of Duty exclusive and will continue to allow developers choice in how they distribute their games.
In doing so, we will pursue a principled path. We’ve heard that this deal might take franchises like Call of Duty away from the places where people currently play them. That’s why, as we’ve said before, we are committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere. We will continue to enable people to play with each other across platforms and across devices. We know players benefit from this approach because we’ve done it with Minecraft, which continues to be available on multiple platforms and has expanded to even more since Mojang joined Microsoft in 2014. As we extend our gaming storefront across new devices and platforms, we will make sure that we do so in a manner that protects the ability of developers to choose how to distribute their games.
As the acquisition continues to go through regulatory review, these comments from Spencer/Microsoft should be expected. Even though the Activision-Blizzard deal is incredibly substantial, Microsoft continues to assure that it will not impact the way in which major games are delivered across platforms including PlayStation who is obviously considered a direct competitor. We’ll have a bigger discussion on these comments this weekend during The Bitcast – we hope you can join us!