Microsoft signs another 10-year deal with Nware, despite Activision Blizzard deal block

Kevin Okemwa


Earlier this week, Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal hit a major roadblock after UK regulators blocked the $68 billion deal indicating that it would negatively impact innovation and rob UK gamers of variety.

However, the move doesn’t seem to have phased Microsoft. The company’s President and Vice Chairman Brad Smith has announced via his Twitter account that Microsoft has signed another deal with European cloud gaming platform Nware.

For those not familiar with Nware, it’s a Spanish cloud gaming service that lets users stream games from Steam, Epic Game Store, and Ubisoft Connect.

According to Microsoft:

Microsoft and European cloud gaming platform Nware have signed a 10-year agreement to stream PC games built by Xbox on its platform, as well as Activision Blizzard titles after the acquisition closes. While it’s still early for the emerging cloud segment in gaming, this new partnership combined with our other recent commitments will make more popular games available on more cloud game streaming services than they are today.

This marks the fourth 10-year deal signed by Microsoft to bring franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Halo, and Forza to 150 million more players on multiple cloud gaming services. Sony has lodged complaints indicating that Microsoft intends to make these entries exclusive to Xbox consoles once the Activision Blizzard deal goes through, locking out other gamers.

In March, Microsoft signed yet another 10-year deal with Boosteroid to confirm that Sony’s concerns revolving around the deal didn’t hold any water.

That being said, the CMA isn’t yet convinced by Microsoft’s intentions and has indicated that there are “significant risks of disagreement and conflict between Microsoft and cloud gaming service providers, particularly over a ten-year period in a rapidly changing market.”

Microsoft has indicated that it intends to appeal the decision to block the deal. Meanwhile, other cloud gaming platforms that have standing ten-year deals with Microsoft have expressed their disappointment following the block on the deal.

Nvidia that’s rallying behind Microsoft and pushing for the acquisition to be approved had this to say:

GeForce NOW and other cloud gaming providers stand to gain an even deeper catalog of games. We see this as a benefit to cloud gaming and hope for a positive resolution.

The European Commission in Brussels has until May 22 to deliver its own conclusion on the merger. Till then, Microsoft is highly likely to sign more deals with cloud gaming companies in a bid to convince the CMA of its intent.