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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Microsoft Strikes Third ‘Call of Duty’ Distribution Deal

  • Microsoft signed a 10-year deal with cloud gaming company Boosteroid to distribute titles.
  • It is awaiting regulatory decisions on its $68.7 billion deal for Activision Blizzard.
Activision's Call of Duty Modern Warfare II on Xbox
Shutterstock

Microsoft is racking up “Call of Duty” deals to show regulators it can share the hugely popular title.

The tech giant struck a 10-year deal with Ukraine-based cloud gaming company Boosteroid to distribute Xbox and Activision Blizzard titles. 

Boosteroid operates in six U.S. states, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, and Serbia. 

Microsoft has struck similar distribution deals with Nintendo and Nvidia as it seeks to assuage regulators’ concerns that its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard would harm competition. The gaming giant also makes “Diablo,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Candy Crush Saga.”

A defeat screen is show in front of a Call of Duty professional player during a tournament after a competitive match.

Microsoft Says $69B Merger Without ‘Call of Duty’ is Game Over

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The transaction, a record for the gaming industry, is receiving scrutiny in the U.S., U.K., and E.U. The Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal in December.

The three deals make it “even more clear to regulators that our acquisition of Activision Blizzard will make ‘Call of Duty’ available on far more devices than before,” said Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith.

E.U. regulators have until April 11 to rule on the acquisition. The U.K.’s deadline is April 26.

Activision Blizzard rode a $3.6 billion fourth quarter to $8.5 billion in revenue last year. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II” banked more than $1 billion in 10 days following its release on Oct. 28.

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