Brussels-based technology company, Microsoft, has signed a 10-year licensing deal with Ukraine-based cloud gaming provider, Boosteroid, to bring Activision’s Call of Duty franchise to the platform. This move is partially aimed at addressing competition concerns over Microsoft’s Activision acquisition, which was announced in January last year and is Microsoft’s biggest ever deal. The acquisition aims to enhance the company’s competitiveness in the growing video gaming market, where Tencent and Sony currently lead, and to lay the groundwork for investment in metaverse.
Boosteroid’s access to Call of Duty is subject to regulatory approval for the Activision deal. If approved, the agreement will also bring Microsoft’s Xbox PC games to Boosteroid’s cloud gaming platform. Microsoft already has similar licensing deals with Nvidia, Nintendo, and U.S. distributor Valve Corp, the owner of the largest video game distribution platform in the world, Steam.
According to people familiar with the matter, EU antitrust regulators are expected to approve Microsoft’s takeover of Activision on the condition of such licensing deals. However, the UK watchdog could pose more challenges.
Boosteroid has gamers in the United States, the United Kingdom, EU countries, and Ukraine. Phil Spencer, Chief Executive of Microsoft’s gaming division, stated that bringing Xbox PC games to Boosteroid members, including Activision Blizzard titles such as ‘Call of Duty,’ is another step towards providing more ways for everyone to play their favorite games across devices.