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Call of Duty could be banned in the UK as government set for talks

Call of Duty could be banned in the UK as government set for talks

The CMA blocked the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, with all parties set for crunch talks with the UK government.

One of the most popular video games on the planet could end up being banned in the UK in what would be a devastating blow for many millions.

Many of us can recall playing Call of Duty with our pals when growing up - and while the franchise may not be as popular as it was back in its hey day, it is still a massive player.

Well, while many may feel Call of Duty is past its prime these days, its publisher, Activision, would certainly argue against that.

In fact, Modern Warfare 2 - the franchises' most recent release - hit $1 billion (£807 million) in sales just ten days after its release.

However, the future of the mega franchise seems to be in doubt in the UK, as we have become the only country so far to block the purchase of Call of Duty publisher, Activision Blizzard, by Microsoft.

Call of Duty could end up being banned in the UK.

At the start of 2022, Microsoft agreed a $68.7 billion (£55.4 billion) deal to buy Activision Blizzard - the publisher of other games such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Candy Crush.

But in April, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority blocked the deal over concerns the deal would negatively impact the cloud gaming sector.

The CMA said the proposed ownership risked 'stifling competition in this growing market'.

Microsoft appealed the decision, with president Brad Smith saying: "We remain fully committed to this acquisition and will appeal.

"The CMA's decision rejects a pragmatic path to address competition concerns and discourages technology innovation and investment in the United Kingdom."

Now, Smith has reportedly arranged a meeting with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt this week, as per Bloomberg.

A statement provided from a representative of Microsoft said Smith has a 'scheduled talk about the potential of AI and the need for thoughtful regulation of it.'

Microsoft execs are meeting with the UK government this week.
Imageplotter / Alamy Stock Photo

The Microsoft head honcho will also apparently provide the UK government reassurances the acquisition of Activision will do no harm, adding they 'remain committed to finding creative and constructive ways to address remaining regulatory concerns.'

We will find out for sure if the UK plans to eventually agree to the takeover in July, as an open hearing for the appeal will take place.

But if it is eventually decided the UK would be blocking the deal, the two parties could actually still go ahead with the deal.

However, Activision Blizzard games could be banned from the country as a result - meaning UK gamers would be unable to play the likes of Call of Duty.

Featured Image Credit: Imageplotter / Alamy Stock Photo / Activision

Topics: Call of Duty, UK News, Gaming, Technology, Microsoft