By Wallace Witkowski
Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox boss addressed fears late Thursday that the company will shut out competing consoles from Activision Blizzard Inc.’s flagship “Call of Duty” franchise and other popular games if an attempted acquisition of the game maker is approved.
Microsoft’s /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +0.97% gaming chief Phil Spencer tweeted regarding the company’s intentions late Thursday in an apparent bid to allay fears from those who use Sony Corp.’s /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SONY -0.26% /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +0.72% PlayStation consoles, saying Microsoft intends to “honor all existing agreements” and that Microsoft values its relationship with Sony.
On Tuesday, Microsoft shocked the videogame world , announcing plans it would buy Activision Blizzard /zigman2/quotes/200717283/composite ATVI +0.08% for $69 billion, prompting many to speculate whether Microsoft would find a way to build a moat around the video game publisher’s titles, despite Chief Executive Satya Nadella saying would make games “accessible to all.”
Microsoft said that Spencer’s official title now is “CEO of Microsoft Gaming” rather than “Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft.”
While many analysts applauded the acquisition, some industry watchers and gaming enthusiasts were decidedly less excited about the deal. There have also been concerns that the deal would be a focus of antitrust regulators, with willingness to allow Activision Blizzard games to be released on consoles other than the Xbox one of the key issues mentioned.
Opinion: Microsoft faces battle for Activision deal, especially if ‘Call of Duty’ is destined for Xbox exclusivity