Microsoft has remained optimistic about its deal to acquire Activision Blizzard — but it won’t go ahead without its signature title.
After a British regulator suggested that Microsoft may need to divest “Call of Duty” to go forward with its $69 billion acquisition, company president Brad Smith shot down the idea that the franchise could be removed from the deal.
It is not “feasible or realistic to think that one game or one slice of this company can be carved out and separated from the rest,” Smith told reporters.
Regulators in the U.S., U.K., and European Union have been scrutinizing the deal over concerns that it could give Microsoft too much power in the gaming sector.
Microsoft recently reached deals with both Nvidia and Nintendo to put “Call of Duty” on their platforms.
The company has made the argument that the deal would benefit gamers and also pointed to Sony as a more dominant company in gaming, noting that it sells more consoles.
Smith described the choice now before regulators: “Do you want to kill a deal and cement Sony’s position and its 80% share in the European Economic Area, or do you want to let the future go forward with behavioral guardrails and remedies and bring this title to 150 million more people?”