Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith issued a blog post confirming that Call Of Duty will continue to be available elsewhere. The blog post titled “adapting ahead of regulation” outlines Microsoft’s plans ahead of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. It’s being construed as a way of solving any potential issues the US Federal Trade Commission may have with the deal.
Smith lays out commitments in four key areas. They relate to app stores, access, and payments.
The blog post states that Microsoft will “enable all developers to access our app store as long as they meet reasonable and transparent standards for quality and safety”. It also adds that it will “treat apps equally in our app store without unreasonable preferencing or ranking of our apps or our business partners’ apps over others”. Also, all apps will be held to “the same standards”, whether they are Microsoft’s own or another company’s.
Smith’s blog continues by directly addressing the main issue regarding the acquisition. “Some commentators have asked whether we will continue to make popular content like Activision’s Call of Duty available on competing platforms like Sony’s PlayStation,” he explains. “To be clear, Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement with Activision”.
Adding to that, Smith explains “we have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement”. He also expresses interest in “taking similar steps to support Nintendo’s successful platform”.
Smith concludes by saying “we believe this is the right thing for the industry”.
Brad Smith originally joined Microsoft in 1993 leading the Legal and Corporate Affairs team in Europe. Rising to the role of Microsoft’s general counsel, he has worked on various antitrust cases for the giant. These include the four year antitrust battle about bundling the Internet Explorer web browser within Windows. He also oversaw negotiations with the European Commission over antitrust accusations, which puts him in a good position for this.
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