Microsoft will be required to bring Activision Blizzard's most popular games to competing cloud gaming platforms if the acquisition of the latter by the former is ultimately successful.
Today, the European Commission approved Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal, but only on the condition that Activision games remain available on cloud gaming platforms that directly compete with Xbox. Microsoft president Brad Smith revealed as much in a tweet shared Monday following the EU's ruling:
"The European Commission has required Microsoft to license popular Activision Blizzard games automatically to competing cloud gaming services," Smith said. "This will apply globally and will empower millions of consumers worldwide to play these games on any device they choose."
Microsoft has had to make a number of concessions to regulators to appease concerns that its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, one of the largest publishers in the industry, could be harmful to competition. One of Microsoft's most significant deals since initially announcing the intended purchase would put Call of Duty on Nintendo consoles for 10 years, while a separate commitment would ensure the prolific FPS franchise goes to Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service.
Microsoft has inked several similar deals with its cloud gaming competitors, but UK regulators have since blocked the acquisition pending a near-guaranteed appeal from Microsoft and Activision. And yet, the buyout still faces potentially its biggest threat yet, as the US Federal Trade Commission is suing to prevent it from going through, with initial hearings set to begin later this year.
For everything on the green horizon, check out our extensive guide to upcoming Xbox Series X games.