Microsoft May Retreat from Certain Markets, if Need Be
There’s been a spot of, let’s say, prolonged controversy around Microsoft over the last long while. Specifically, around their proposed acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. People don’t want Microsoft to have massive-scale control over so many sections of the video game industry, with Call of Duty’s presence in particular being of special importance.
Since international law doesn’t exactly preside over this, the matter instead falls to national governments that care about the games industry. Which, turns out, is a lot of them. Which means a lot of politicians need to look at this stuff, which means that the whole acquisition process moves at politician-level speeds, and so on.
But that also leaves Microsoft a lot of time. Time to plan contingencies and what-ifs, like “what if a country says no, but overall we get what we want anyway? Will we just pull our games from that country?” Obviously that depends on how important that specific country is to Microsoft, but for something the size of the UK, that answer is “maybe we’ll cut them off.”
This plan was noted as an “extreme option” by Microsoft higher-ups, but it’s clearly something that they’re thinking about. You know, given that they name-dropped it.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Microsoft says it remains “committed to finding creative and constructive ways to address remaining regulatory concerns”.
Of course, its main plan is still to advocate for itself and have the deal go through with thumbs-up all around. So if you’re in the UK, you’re probably still safe from having a chronic gaming-deficiency… probably.