Microsoft Wins Legal Victory in So-Called Gamers’ Lawsuit

Among the least daunting of Microsoft’s challenges in acquiring Activision Blizzard is a spurious “gamers’ lawsuit” filed by a small group of individuals who are worried that the software giant will make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox. But a federal judge has thrown out their request to preliminarily block the acquisition.

“Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate they will be personally irreparably harmed if the merger occurs before a merits decision,” U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley explains in the ruling, noting that there was no evidence that Microsoft would (or even could) make existing versions of Call of Duty stop working should the acquisition be completed. “The day after the merger [the plaintiffs] can play exactly the same way they played with their friends before the merger.”

The plaintiffs—a group of “recreational video game players”—argued that Microsoft would “make Call of Duty exclusive to Microsoft platforms and subscription services and that the merger will lead to inflated prices for future Call of Duty titles.” These games are particularly important to them because “they communicate with friends or family regularly via the game,” and “playing Call of Duty with friends enhances their quality of life.”

“The record establishes it is not likely Microsoft will make any new version of Call of Duty that becomes available before a decision on the merits exclusive to Microsoft,” the ruling explains. ” Plaintiffs’ speculation that Microsoft could violate its written agreements is insufficient to meet their burden of showing a likelihood of immediate irreparable harm. Further, if Microsoft were to suddenly announce it is going to make Call of Duty exclusive, notwithstanding its written agreements to the contrary, a preliminary injunction could be entered at that time.”

This is a ridiculous lawsuit that wasted the court’s time and money.

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