Microsoft posted news in its News Center titled: “Microsoft announces partnership with cloud gaming provider Boosteroid to bring more games to more players around the world”. From the News Center post:
Microsoft Corp. and Boosteroid on Tuesday announced a 10-year agreement to bring Xbox PC games to Boosteroid’s cloud gaming platform. Boosteroid, which has its software development team in Ukraine, recently surpassed 4 million users globally and has become the largest independent cloud gaming provider in the world. The agreement will also enable Activision Blizzard PC titles to be streamed by Boosteroid customers after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard closes.
When combined with other partnerships recently announced by Microsoft, this means popular franchises such as “Call of Duty” will surpass more than 150 million additional players, and make games built by Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda and Activision Blizzard playable on multiple cloud gaming services and subscriptions.
“We believe in the power of games to bring people together. That’s why Xbox is committed to give everyone more ways to play their favorite games, across devices,” said Phil Spencer, CEO of Gaming, Microsoft. “Bringing Xbox PC games to Boosteroid members, including Activision Blizzard titles such as ‘Call of Duty’ once the deal closes, is yet another step in realizing that vision.”
“Boosteroid shares Microsoft’s vision of bringing games to as many people, places and platforms as possible. It has long been our goal to provide gamers with an opportunity to enjoy their favorite titles on and device that is close at hand,” said Ivan Shviachenko, Boosteroid CEO. “Today’s announcement is yet another step in this direction. Also, with our development team based in Ukraine, we appreciate Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to Ukraine, and we will be working together on an initiative supporting our local game development community to invest further in the economic recovery of the country.”
In addition to Ukraine itself, Boosteroid now serves gamers in the United States, United Kingdom, and countries across the European Union. It operates through data center operations located in six U.S. states, including Microsoft’s home state of Washington, as well as in the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, and Serbia.
The gaming community is a vibrant part of Ukraine’s software ecosystem. Microsoft recently added support for the Ukrainian language for the Xbox console dashboard, PC and mobile apps. In spring 2023, Microsoft will launch PC Game Pass in Ukraine.
“This partnership builds on the $430 million in technology and financial assistance we have provided Ukraine since Russia’s unlawful invasion, and it exemplifies the steps we will continue to take to support Ukraine’s 160,000 software developers,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice Chair and President. “It also adds to our recent agreements with Nintendo and NVIDIA, making it even more clear to regulators that our acquisition of Activision Blizzard will make ‘Call of Duty’ available on far more devices than before.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Brad Smith said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the company wants to show through the distribution agreements that its plan to buy Activision will improve users’ access to “Call of Duty.”
Competition authorities in the EU, the U.S., and the U.K., which are examining the acquisition, have said they are concerned it could allow Microsoft to control how consumers access Activision games, potentially reducing competition in the videogame market.
“If the only argument is that Microsoft is going to withhold ‘Call of Duty’ from other platforms, and we’ve now entered into contracts that are going to bring this to many more devices and many more platforms, that is a pretty hard case to make to a court,” Mr. Smith said. He said any decision on the deal would be subject to final judicial review.
Personally, I think Microsoft is making smart choices by providing ‘Call of Duty’ to various other platforms, including Boosteriod, Nintendo, and NIVIDIA. The contracts involved will go into effect if the regulators decide to let Microsoft buy Activision Blizzard.