Microsoft is now advertising the Activision Blizzard acquisition in UK newspapers

This is just getting stupid (pic: The Verge)

Full page ads explaining the benefits of Xbox buying Call Of Duty have appeared in The Financial Times and the Daily Mail this week.

It’s official: Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has turned all the companies involved crazy. A day after Sony started making up conspiracies about Microsoft adding secret bugs to the PlayStation versions of Call Of Duty, Microsoft has now started running full page adds in UK newspapers about what a great idea the deal is.

The adverts focus on their usual rhetoric about bringing the franchise to 150 million more people, which only sounds more ludicrous when you realise how they got that figure: by adding together the number of Nintendo Switch sold in the world (around 125 million) to the number of GeForce Now users.

The idea that Switch owners have been so desperate to play Call Of Duty that they’re suddenly going to go out and buy it in their millions is patently absurd but the concept, and these ads in particular, are aimed at people that don’t know much about the games industry – especially as the ads don’t even mention or picture the Switch.

Activision Blizzard could have released a Call Of Duty game on the Switch whenever they liked – and have done so many times for previous Nintendo consoles – but the modern games would be near impossible to run on the system and really don’t match up well with the format’s demographic.

Microsoft, though, insists that it can get the game running on the Switch natively, which seems unlikely at best and not something it’ll have to prove until well after the acquisition is approved.

The reason the ads are appearing in the UK press is because the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has already come out against the deal, saying that it will likely result in ‘higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation.’

Although its initial suggestion was that the deal should not include Call Of Duty, which could be spun off into a separate business, they have said that they could change their mind if Microsoft makes further concessions and assurances to Sony.

That’s exactly what Microsoft has done during negotiations with the EU, who are now expected to approve the deal, although Sony still claims that the agreements are vague enough that Microsoft could still find a way to hobble the PlayStation versions.

Microsoft has placed a full-page ad in two newspapers in the UK today for its Activision Blizzard deal. “Call of Duty for 150 million more players,” argues Microsoft as it pushes for its deal to be approved by UK regulators

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 8, 2023

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MORE : Sony thinks Microsoft is going to sabotage Call Of Duty on PS5 with secret bugs

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MORE : EU will let Microsoft buy Activision Blizzard and Call Of Duty says report

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