Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has massive support from the UK public, with a newly-published poll showing that the vast majority of respondents favour the Xbox and Game Pass creator owning the developer of Overwatch, Call of Duty, Diablo, and WoW.
On October 14, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a statement outlining the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, inviting the public to respond with their own views or issues regarding the potential deal.
The CMA reviewed 2,100 responses, and says that “around three quarters were broadly in favour of the merger, and around a quarter were broadly against the merger.” Around 500 responses were disqualified “because they contained abusive content (with no other substantive content), or were blank [or] unintelligible.”
Respondents offered various reasons for favouring the merger, saying it would potentially mean Call of Duty being added to Microsoft’s subscription-based Game Pass service, and lead to “more funding and higher-quality games in the industry.”
“The merger will allow Microsoft to provide Activision with better guidance and leadership, and to encourage it to invest more in games other than Call of Duty,” says the CMA, summarising the respondents in favour of the merger.
Those against the deal reportedly voiced concerns about Call of Duty being made exclusive to PC and Xbox, citing Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda as an example of the company’s attempts to secure more exclusivity deals.
The respondents also claimed that the merger of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft could set a precedent for future acquisitions of publishers such as Take-Two, Ubisoft, and EA, “thereby increasing concentration in the market.”
The Merger would lead to consolidation and would set a harmful precedent in the gaming industry of acquiring large publishers rather than encouraging organic growth,” says the CMA in its summary.
The results of the poll are published after the US Federal Trade Commission has filed a court order to block the acquisition, while a group of 10 proclaimed “videogamers” has filed a similar, civil suit, saying the deal would violate antitrust regulations.
Microsoft’s Game Pass has seen recent success with the Rick and Morty-esque FPS game High on Life, which has beat even Minecraft to become the service’s most popular title. Activision Blizzard meanwhile has appointed Far Cry 5 developer Dan Hay to serve as general manager on its mysterious, upcoming survival game, though details on that remain scarce.