Microsoft Signs 10-Year Deal With Cloud Gaming Platform Nware

Following the UK’s CMA decision to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the Redmond giant announced today another 10-year cloud licensing deal with European cloud gaming platform Nware. Similar to Microsoft’s previous 10-year deals with Nvidia’s GeForce NOW and Boosteroid, it will make Microsoft’s PC games available for streaming on Nware, and this will also apply to Activision Blizzard games if Microsoft manages to close the acquisition.

In a message announcing the new agreement, Microsoft President Brad Smith reiterated Microsoft’s ambition to make its games available to more players. “While it’s still early for the emerging cloud segment in gaming, this new partnership combined with our recent commitments will make more popular games available on more cloud game streaming services than they are today,” the exec said.

The argument that led the UK’s CMA to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is that Microsoft is an early leader in the cloud gaming market and that the company would “find it commercially beneficial to make Activision’s games exclusive to its own cloud gaming service.” Despite Microsoft’s willingness to make its games available on competing cloud gaming services, the CMA still believes that there are “significant risks of disagreement and conflict between Microsoft and cloud gaming service providers, particularly over a ten-year period in a rapidly changing market.”

Microsoft said that the company will appeal the CMA’s decision, and it will receive support from Activision Blizzard throughout that process. In the meantime, both Nvidia and Boosteroid have expressed their disappointment regarding the CMA’s decision to block the deal.

“GeForce NOW and other cloud gaming providers stand to gain an even deeper catalog of games if Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is completed. We see this as a benefit to cloud gaming and hope for a positive resolution,” Nvidia tweeted on its GeForce NOW Twitter account yesterday.

While it’s currently uncertain if Microsoft will be able to convince the CMA to authorize the acquisition, the company will likely continue to sign more licensing deals with cloud gaming platforms. Amazon Luna could be a good candidate, even though the service remains exclusively available in the US.

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