The Last of Us show somehow eases FTC on Microsoft deal, apparently

An Activision Blizzard exec uses the success of Sony's The Last of Us show to tell the FTC that it doesn't need to worry about the Microsoft Activision deal.

The Last of Us show somehow eases FTC on Microsoft deal, apparently

An Activision Blizzard executive has used the success of Sony’s The Last of Us TV adaptation in an effort to show the FTC that the company behind PlayStation doesn’t need to worry about the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard damaging the competition and stopping Sony producing some of the best PC games.

This comes from EVP of corporate affairs and chief communications officer at Activision Blizzard, Lulu Cheng Meservey, who uses Sony and PlayStation’s success with The Last of Us TV show – which has seen the game’s sales skyrocket as a result – in a bid to show the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) why the Microsoft purchase of Activision Blizzard should go through.

“Hi FTC – did you catch last night’s episode of The Last of Us? It was incredible,” Meservey writes. “No wonder the show is breaking records. It’s a true blockbuster, watched by tens of millions. If you haven’t already, you should check it out.”

Meservey then outlines how the show is based on the IP from the Sony-owned studio Naughty Dog, and decides to link this fact to the Microsoft Activision deal by explaining how the show’s success shows that Sony, essentially, has nothing to worry about.

“The FTC has opposed the Microsoft – Activision Blizzard deal on the grounds that Microsoft could ‘suppress competition’ from rival consoles by leveraging Activision games,” Meservey continues on Twitter. “It sounds like there’s some worry that Sony’s position as market leader could be jeopardized by this deal.

“But there’s no cause for concern. Sony has an unrivalled war chest of IP, not just in gaming but TV, movies, and music — which can be developed into games, or can market existing games. Case in point: the TV show The Last of Us is already generating renewed interest in that game.

“Sony’s talent and IP across gaming, TV, movies, and music are formidable and truly impressive. It’s no wonder they also continue to dominate as the market leader for consoles. In gaming, Sony is ‘the first of us’ – and they will be just fine without the FTC’s protection,” Meservey concludes.

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This is certainly an interesting way of looking at the Microsoft and Activision deal. While I understand how Sony’s success with The Last of us on TV, and even Uncharted in the cinema, points to a wider strategy for the company behind PlayStation, something about this just doesn’t feel right, does it?

It’s an effort to connect two dots that don’t really make sense connecting. The Last of Us show is successful because the zombie game was already oriented like a prestige TV and film with excellent performances, and the show has stayed true to that. It does not automatically mean that a competitor should be able to go through with one of the biggest game industry deals of all time because a show is successful. Next you’ll be telling me that the Mario movie being a success means Sony can buy Square Enix, or something.

Most of the UK public was in favour of the Microsoft and Activision deal in a poll last year, but it’s not all roses as a group of gamers announced it was trying to sue Microsoft over the deal as well.

Microsoft announced that it was planning to purchase Activision blizzard in a deal from last year, valued at around $68.7 billion USD (roughly £55.9 billion).