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In September, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed his confidence regarding making the company’s proposed $69 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition possible. Now, the Chief seems to be having a change of heart after saying how the Redmond company will continue its path in the gaming industry even if the merger doesn’t happen.
In a Thursday interview with CNBC, Microsoft Chief Satya Nadella was asked direct queries about the company’s plans once the deal is closed. Just like in his previous appearances and statements, Nadella stated how Microsoft wants to bring its services and products on different platforms to prevent adverse effects on competition in the market.
“Our entire goal is to bring more options for gamers to be able to play [on every platform] and for publishers to have more competition,” Nadella told CNBC. “Microsoft isn’t a conglomerate, I want to be very clear. It’s not about sort of gaming here and productivity here.”
Nonetheless, after being asked about the merger not becoming a reality, Nadella didn’t shy away from sharing his thoughts in case such a possibility happens in the future.
“We have been in gaming for decades,” Nadella said. “We will be in gaming going forward.”
While there is just a small probability of the said situation, it is hard to deny that Microsoft’s journey to close the deal looks like a long bumpy road. Aside from the ongoing probes of regulators around the world (and the deeper investigation started by the EU), the real motive for the deal is now being questioned by a Swedish state-run pension fund that filed a lawsuit. According to Sjunde AP-Fonden, the “hastily negotiated” underpriced $69 billion deal was made possible through Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who has been looking for a way to get away from liabilities caused by his scandalous leadership. Microsoft is also being sued for taking advantage of the gaming giant’s “weak and wounded” state. Then, there’s Sony which won’t just stop protesting against the merger due to its Call of Duty concerns.
In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft Gaming CEO and Xbox Lead Phil Spencer, who seems to be getting tired of Sony’s relentless objections, made another clear statement that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation.
“It’s not about at some point I pull the rug underneath PlayStation 7’s legs and it’s ‘ahaha you just didn’t write the contract long enough.’ There’s no contract that could be written that says forever,” Spencer told The Verge. “This idea that we would write a contract that says the word forever in it I think is a little bit silly, but to make a longer term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with, regulators would be comfortable with, I have no issue with that at all.”