Will Candy Crush be banned in the UK? – The ongoing story of gaming’s biggest ever deal | The Sun
THE fate of games such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush and Diablo currently hangs in the balance in the UK.
However, it’s a difficult situation to unfold, with a lot of business jargon, and complicated regulations.
Here’s a breakdown of everything that’s going on, and how it could affect games in the UK.
What is happening with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard?
In January 2022, Microsoft and publisher Activision Blizzard announced a deal for the former to acquire the latter for a ginormous $69billion (£55billion).
This is one of the largest business deals of all time, let alone in the gaming industry.
Activision Blizzard is one of the world’s largest gaming publishers, and owns a number of gaming’s most profitable series.
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A combination of Activision, Blizzard, and King Games, the company owns a huge number of gaming properties, including those listed above and many more, such as World of Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot, and Overwatch.
However, the acquisition of the publisher is still only proposed as countries discuss monopolisation of the gaming market.
Microsoft is already a huge company in the gaming space and owns a number of gaming studios, such as Minecraft’s Mojang, and Destiny’s Bungie.
By making such a large purchase of more gaming studios there are concerns that Microsoft would eventually dominate the gaming industry.
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This would be bad for gamers as Microsoft could make more decisions for the gaming industry going forward.
This includes the standard price of games and consoles, and consumers wouldn’t have a competitor to turn to.
What is the UK’s block on Activision Blizzard?
So far ten regions have approved the purchase, including important gaming markets, such as Japan, China, and the EU.
The US, New Zealand, and Australia are yet to come to a decision but it is likely that these countries will also approve the deal.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the only regulatory authority that has blocked the deal, though Microsoft can appeal that decision at the end of July.
This decision was completely unexpected by Microsoft especially as many regions had already approved the deal.
What will happen to Call of Duty and Candy Crush in the UK?
Before any action is taken, Microsoft will first try to resolve problems brought up by the CMA.
Microsoft also has to wait until the outcome of the appeal in July, and for the decisions from the other regions’ regulatory authorities.
However, if the appeal is shut down and the issues can’t be reconciled, and the other boards approve the acquisition, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have a few options.
While the acquisition could be cancelled and Activision Blizzard remain independent, this outcome seems unlikely.
Instead, Microsoft would likely continue on with its purchase, and then pull out from the UK.
This would mean removing Activision Blizzard games from sale within the UK.
However, this is an outcome that neither party wants, as the UK revenue is substantial for gaming companies.
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The deal is a common topic in Parliament, and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is meeting with Microsoft CEO Brad Smith to further discuss the deal.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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