Ubisoft Entertainment SA shares rose the most since February after Microsoft Corp. offered the French video game publisher some cloud-streaming rights in order to complete its takeover of Activision Blizzard Inc.
(Bloomberg) — Ubisoft Entertainment SA shares rose the most since February after Microsoft Corp. offered the French video game publisher some cloud-streaming rights in order to complete its takeover of Activision Blizzard Inc.
The deal grants Ubisoft exclusive streaming rights outside of the European Economic Area of all Activision Blizzard titles, including Call of Duty, for the next 15 years, Ubisoft announced in a statement on Tuesday. Inside the bloc, Ubisoft gets non-exclusive streaming rights to the same titles.
The deal represents a concession from Microsoft as it tries to win the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority round to its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which the regulator blocked in April over competition concerns. The restructured transaction, excluding the streaming rights, will now get a fresh review from the antitrust watchdog.
Ubisoft shares rose as much as 7.8% in Paris on Tuesday.
“The news is clearly a positive,” Jefferies analyst Sebastian Patulea said. “Microsoft has effectively told the world that their preferred partner of choice in the nascent cloud gaming market is Ubisoft.” He acknowledged that the financial details of the deal remain limited at this point.
Ubisoft said that the rights “will exist in perpetuity” and be added to the Ubisoft+ subscription service. The company will also be allowed to license them to cloud gaming companies, service providers, and console makers — including back to Microsoft for its Xbox gaming system.
“It is hard to see this as anything other than a positive: there is a long-term opportunity and we doubt that the short term payment is too punitive,” Barclays analyst Nick Dempsey said, highlighting the power of Activision Blizzard’s intellectual property. He added that more details on how the commercial terms would work are needed in order to truly gauge the size of the opportunity for Ubisoft.
Read More: Microsoft Concedes Activision Cloud Streaming Rights to Ubisoft
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority made reference to Ubisoft’s deal with Amazon Luna, which allows players to stream select Ubisoft games within Luna, as an example of different ways cloud gaming service providers can monetize their services, in its April decision to block the acquisition.
The CMA said that it would make a decision about the newly proposed Microsoft-Activision transaction by Oct. 18.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.