Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has spoken up to defend his company’s blockbuster proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying it will help generate even more competition in the gaming space, not lessen it.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Nadella said Microsoft is trying to buy Activision Blizzard to compete better against bigger players in the market like Sony and Tencent.
“Being a No. 4 player trying to add some content and create more opportunity for more publishers, more gamers to be able to enjoy–I mean if you believe in competition, you should believe in this deal,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “I hope the competition authorities get focused more on competition and that would be a good day.”
In the US, Microsoft is facing a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission, which is trying to block the deal. Microsoft said it tried to give peace a chance and is now prepared to defend itself in court. The European Union, meanwhile, is reportedly gearing up to present an antitrust warning over the proposed sale.
Microsoft has said if its deal for Activision Blizzard goes through, it would not remove Call of Duty from PlayStation consoles. Making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox would be a “disastrous” business decision, Microsoft has said.
The mobile gaming market is one of the biggest and fastest-growing sectors of gaming, and Microsoft does not currently have much of a foothold in the space, which is another reason why Microsoft is pursuing its deal for Activision Blizzard so aggressively.
Also at the World Economic Forum, Nadella said Microsoft will try to incorporate AI systems into all of its products in the future, and this would presumably include Xbox. “Every product of Microsoft will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product,” Nadella said.
Microsoft is reportedly set to announce a $10 billion investment into the startup OpenAI, which has generated a lot of discussion and buzz around its ChatGPT product.
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