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Microsoft is expanding its gaming unit to pacify opposers and prevent the Activision Blizzard takeover from being obstructed.
After initially opposing tech giant Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) over acquiring video game company Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), software company Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) has allied with Microsoft to bring Xbox PC games to its cloud gaming service. Under the new deal between Microsoft and Nvidia, the software company would onboard Microsoft’s Xbox PC games to its GeForce NOW gaming service.
Nvidia Forms New Relationship with Microsoft
The turnaround in Nvidia and Microsoft’s relationship follows a meeting between Microsoft President Brad Smith and the EU officials over the Activision Blizzard purchase. Smith met with the officials on February 21 to convince them that buying the video game company would be suitable for competition, thereby taking power away from the monopoly.
Microsoft announced its plan to acquire Activision Blizzard on January 18, 2022, and it has since attracted opposition from many companies, including Nvidia. At the time of the announcement last year, the multinational technology company revealed that it would be an all-cash transaction worth $68.7 billion. The deal was meant to drive Microsoft to the third-largest gaming company by revenue, following Tencent and Sony. More heat also came from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in December as it moved to block the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal. Earlier this year, Bloomberg revealed that Nvidia and Google expressed their worries about the acquisition to the FTC. The companies joined the growing list of oppositions against Microsoft on the deal, which includes Sony Group Corp.
Microsoft is expanding its gaming unit to pacify opposers and prevent the Activision Blizzard takeover from being obstructed. The company is increasing the games available to players for purchase via its cloud data centers. At a press conference, Smith announced that Xbox games will be available on GeForce NOW cloud services owned by Nvidia. Adding that the development was effective immediately, he said all Activision Blizzard titles will also go to GeForce NOW, if the Activision acquisition goes through.
Nvidia to Add Xbox PC Games to GeForce NOW
As Microsoft and Nvidia formed a new relationship, the companies jointly announced a 10-year partnership to add Xbox PC games to GeForce NOW. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer stated that Xbox is continually expanding its customer offerings. He said the partnership would also help Nvidia grow its catalog of titles, including Call of Duty. GeForce senior vice president Jeff Fisher commented:
“Combining the incredibly rich catalog of Xbox first party games with GeForce NOW’s high-performance streaming capabilities will propel cloud gaming into a mainstream offering that appeals to gamers at all levels of interest and experience. Through this partnership, more of the world’s most popular titles will now be available from the cloud with just a click, playable by millions more gamers.”
As against its former stance against Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard, Nvidia has now declared its “full support for regulatory approval of the acquisition.”