This news follows Microsoft's prediction that it will close its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard within the next week (via VGC). Despite resistance from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), it looks as though Microsoft is on the verge of completing the acquisition - almost two years since it was initially announced.
Reacting to this development, Activision Blizzard released a statement on Monday addressing what this means in relation to bringing its titles to Microsoft's popular subscription service, Xbox Game Pass.
“As we continue to work toward regulatory approval of the Microsoft deal, we’ve been getting some questions [about] whether our upcoming and recently launched games will be available via Game Pass,” said Activision Blizzard.
“While we do not have plans to put Modern Warfare 3 or Diablo 4 into Game Pass this year, once the deal closes, we expect to start working with Xbox to bring our titles to more players around the world [... over] the course of next year."
Though the FTC lost its court case against Microsoft, with the judge finding that the acquisition didn't breach US anti-monopoly laws, the tech giant still had to address concerns raised by the CMA in the UK. To satisfy the UK monopolies watchdog, Activision Blizzard committed to selling the streaming rights to its games to Ubisoft, so as to break up competition in the streaming market. This move satisfied the CMA, which went on to state that this plan "substantially addresses most concerns" that the UK organization had about the acquisition.
With this in mind, while Activision Blizzard games may well be arriving on Game Pass next year, it seems highly unlikely that the titles will be available on the Xbox Cloud Gaming service.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.
Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure.
Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.