Hello, gamers! Welcome back to the first edition of Emmen Weekly after the Ramadan break. In this segment, we’ll be discussing recent developments across the gaming industry.
Let’s start with one of the biggest announcements, the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In the most recent development, it seems that the UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) does not share Microsoft’s enthusiasm for the merger.
Let’s dive into the details.
UK Government Agency Prevents Microsoft / Activision Deal
The UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has prevented the Microsoft Blizzard acquisition deal, citing that it could have a detrimental effect on the rapidly growing cloud gaming market.
In a press release, CMA stated that Microsoft’s dominant position in the cloud gaming market would give the company an unfair advantage over its competitors, as it already accounts for an estimated 60-70% of the global cloud gaming service.
Cloud gaming has become increasingly profitable in recent years, with a projected revenue of £1 billion in the UK by 2026. CMA argues that Microsoft could leverage its position in the cloud gaming market to monopolize popular Activision Blizzard franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
Initially, CMA had sided with Microsoft, stating that it would not make sense for the company to alienate a large audience of Call of Duty players by making the title exclusive to the Xbox console. However, after fully examining Microsoft’s proposed remedy, CMA has decided to prevent the deal, citing the need for a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice in cloud gaming.
CMA emphasized that Microsoft’s proposed remedy did not sufficiently cover different cloud gaming service business models, was not open to providers who might wish to offer versions of games on PC operating systems other than Windows, and would standardize the terms and conditions on which games are available, instead of allowing for the dynamism and creativity of competition in the market.
Microsoft has since decided to appeal the decision, with Brad Smith, vice-chair and president of Microsoft, stating, “We remain fully committed to this acquisition and will appeal. The CMA’s decision rejects a pragmatic path.”
Harry Potter Quidditch Game Announced
WB has announced the release of Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions, much to the excitement of Harry Potter fans who were disappointed by the absence of the dedicated sport in the latest video game installment, Hogwarts Legacy.
Described as “a complete, standalone Quidditch experience,” Quidditch Champions will immerse players in the sport and other broomstick adventures, in a competitive multiplayer setting with friends. Like Hogwarts Legacy, players will create their own characters for the game.
According to the publisher, the game has been in development for several years. Interested players can sign up for early access to the game on the official website.
Gary Bowser, Nintendo Hacker, Released from Prison with Debt
Gary Bowser, a member of the popular hacking group Team Xecutor, has recently been released from prison after serving 40 months of jail time. Despite his release, Bowser is still facing the consequences of his actions as he owes Nintendo a considerable amount of money, totaling almost $10 million.
The lawyer who handled the case on behalf of Nintendo has made it clear that the company wanted to set an example for other hackers and send a message that they will not tolerate theft of their intellectual property. According to the lawyer, the purchase of video games sustains Nintendo’s ecosystem, and it is the games that bring smiles to people’s faces. As such, the company will do everything in its power to prevent its games from becoming victims of theft.
To settle his debt, Bowser has agreed to pay between 20-25% of his monthly income to Nintendo. While this may seem like a reasonable repayment plan, the debt he owes is quite significant, and it may take Bowser a considerable amount of time to settle it in full. In fact, according to Bowser, he has only been able to pay back a small amount of $175 so far.
It is clear that the consequences of Bowser’s actions will continue to haunt him for some time.
THQ Nordic Announces August Showcase
In our latest news, THQ Nordic has announced a digital showcase for August. The event will feature exciting new reveals and updates on previously announced games.
The event is set to take place on Friday, August 11th, and will be live-streamed via the official YouTube and Twitch handles at 8 pm BST, 9 pm CEST, and 12 pm PT.
THQ Nordic has promised to deliver “world premiere announcements, but also updates and reveals for previously announced games.” Among the titles that will be highlighted in the event are the highly anticipated Alone in the Dark, Trine 5, and Outcast 2.