Microsoft promises Xbox PC games and Call of Duty to Ukrainian cloud service in another 10-year deal
Microsoft has reached yet another 10-year agreement that will bring Xbox PC games and, should its pending Activision Blizzard acquisition go through, Call of Duty to more platforms. The recipient this time is Boosteroid, a Ukrainian service dubbed "the largest independent cloud gaming provider in the world."
The company announced the agreement today, adding Boosteroid's four million users to the list of 150 million purported gamers who would get newfound access to Call of Duty if the Microsoft Activision deal is passed. (Of course, that figure assumes these users had no access to Call of Duty before through alternate platforms, and are also interested in Call of Duty.) As was the case with Nvidia GeForce Now, this deal will bring Xbox PC games to Boosteroid regardless of the deal, and if it closes, the platform will get Call of Duty too.
This Boosteroid deal reinforces Microsoft's new strategy of using such partnerships to entreat competition regulators and make a $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard appear pro-competitive. Apart from the market dominance of Call of Duty, a sticking point among opponents of the deal has been Microsoft's dominance in cloud gaming via Xbox Game Pass, so the company has been giving out 10-year deals to soften its image and position. Extending its games to "the largest independent cloud gaming provider" is a natural evolution of this stance.
Microsoft announced similarly positioned deals with Nintendo and Nvidia just weeks ago. According to a recent report, such deals may have worked, with the European Union now apparently expected to give the deal a key vote of approval.
While Boosteroid is based in Ukraine, the service does operate in other regions including the US, UK, and countries across the EU, with both browser support and its own dedicated app. The ongoing war in the Ukraine has affected the service to some extent, with two of the company's offices being damaged by Russian missile attacks, but it remains online.
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