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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Microsoft and Activision agree to divest UK cloud rights for Activision properties to Ubisoft.

Update: looks like my original understanding of this new deal was incorrect. I thought these changes applied in the UK only. But, most sources indicate that this applies worldwide.  If that's correct, I'm surprised. I guess it It is further evidence that this deal has always really been about getting their hands on King to expand their mobile gaming business, and less about Game Pass.

Original post:

The takeaway is that Microsoft and Activision have agreed to sell the cloud rights of current and future Activision games in the UK to Ubisoft, and not to reacquire them for 15 years.  

The way I see it, this is about as good of a proposition for UK gamers, and gamers overall, as could realistically have been hoped for with CMA standing in the way of the deal closing. Presumably, this means that Ubisoft will get further into the cloud streaming business in the near future. And since they are already a major publisher, this means there's not going to be yet another service that UK gamers will have to subscribe to to get access to these games.  Instead of having X Cloud, Activision UK (or whatever a potential service might be called) and Ubisoft streaming services to subscribe to, gamers in the UK will only need to subscribe to X cloud and Ubisoft to get their hands on all of those games.

And if Ubisoft is eventually acquired by someone else, it would likely be an existing gaming business. This is far better for gamers than the potential non-gaming acquirers that had been floated over the last few months.

Also, this should be the last step in getting the deal over the finish line. So we should be able to stop talking about it soon.

So, I think this is good news all around. 

Last edited by VAMatt - on 23 August 2023

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For precision and as posted in the Xbox Empire thread :

those are simply streaming rights, they don't give anyone the ability to give anyone users a license to the game. Ubisoft, nor any other provider will have the ability to include the titles in a subscription library, so all IPs will remain subject to BYOG model and would still have to be purchased through the Windows store, Xbox Store, Steam, or acquired through a GamePass subscription. So in the end what MS "sells" to Ubisoft is the right to create free Marketing for ABK/Xbox games LOL.

You also have to take into consideration that we don't even know if a market for cloud streaming right really can exist on its own. Geforce now is owned by a Trillion $ company and used the BYOG model since the start, they have the capacity, position, and incentive to acquire such rights, yet barely do (to my knowledge) resorting to taking titles down whenever challenged about the right infringement. So the best candidate for acquisition of such right does not do it at the moment so the value for Ubisoft is questionable. And in the eventuality the market develops for such a transaction, MS will still be the ones benefitting from this as they will sell every IP to Ubisoft at market price, which means if ever they are worth anything meaningful MS gonna get paid to an appropriate amount. 

However, Ubisoft will benefit from a stronger relationship with MS, and (As pointed out by Ryuu) Ubisoft has sought to remain independent for years and has been hard-pressed to react in the past to retain their independence, so adding to their assets rights that will give any buyers a hard time with regulatory bodies might be a way to stave off aggressive buyout attempt.

Last edited by EpicRandy - on 22 August 2023

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