Learn More About the Latest News on Activision Blizzard Acquisition Investigation, McDonald Enters PC Gaming, and Japan’s PC Gaming Industry Doubled

In today’s PC gaming news, learn more about Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has prompted the European Commission to launch a comprehensive inquiry under the EU Merger Regulation. Meanwhile, McDonald’s, of all places, has unveiled a new PC gaming chair to promote the debut of their new McCrispy burger in the United Kingdom. Lastly, according to a survey by Japan’s KADOKAWA ASCII Research Laboratories, the Japanese PC gaming industry has expanded to new heights at an unprecedented rate by doubling in size over the past three years.

Commission Investigates Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Original Source: Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft

Under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission is investigating Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The proposed acquisition may weaken competition in the markets for console and PC video game distribution and PC operating systems, according to the Commission.

Both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard develop, publish, and distribute PC games. In addition, Microsoft distributes console games, sells the Xbox gaming console and related services, and offers a wide range of products and services, including Windows and Azure.

The Commission’s preliminary competition concerns

According to the Commission’s preliminary inquiry, the deal may considerably restrict competition in the markets for console and PC video game distribution, including multi-game subscription services and/or cloud game streaming services, and PC operating systems.

In particular, the Commission is concerned that Microsoft may restrict access to Activision Blizzard’s console and PC video games, especially “AAA” games like “Call of Duty.”

The preliminary investigation suggests that Microsoft may have the ability and a potential economic incentive to engage in foreclosure strategies against Microsoft’s rival distributors of console video games, such as preventing these companies from distributing Activision Blizzard’s console video games on consoles or degrading the terms and conditions for their use of or access to these video games.

The Commission is concerned that, by acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft may foreclose access, to the detriment of its rival distributors of console and PC video games that offer such services, to its own PC and console video games, which are key to the provision of the nascent services of multi-game subscription and cloud game streaming.

Such foreclosure techniques could restrict competition in console and PC video game distribution industries, resulting in higher pricing, lesser quality, and less innovation for console game distributors, which may be passed on to consumers.

At this point, the Commission is concerned that the proposed acquisition may diminish PC operating system market competition. In particular, the Commission is worried that Microsoft may impair rival PC operating system providers’ capacity to compete with Windows by integrating Activision Blizzard’s games and Microsoft’s cloud game streaming to Windows. Non-Windows PCs would be less appealing.

Microsoft may have the ability and economic motive to engage in such behaviour against competing PC operating system vendors, according to the preliminary inquiry.

The Commission will now examine the transaction’s consequences to validate its initial competition concerns.

On 30 September 2022, the Commission was informed of the transaction.

Until 23 March 2023, the Commission has 90 working days to decide. An in-depth investigation’s outcome is not predetermined.

Companies and products

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is a multinational technology firm. Microsoft offers a wide range of goods and services through the following operating segments: Productivity and Business Processes; (ii) Intelligent Cloud; and (iii) More Personal Computing. Microsoft publishes and distributes games for PCs, consoles, and mobile devices. Xbox and related services are also available from Microsoft.

Activision Blizzard is a publicly traded firm in Santa Monica, California. PC games are developed, published, and distributed by Activision Blizzard.

Controlling mergers

Mergers and acquisitions involving enterprises with a turnover above specific levels (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) must be assessed by the Commission to prevent concentrations that would considerably impair effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

Most notified mergers don’t harm competition and pass routine examinations. After a transaction is notified, the Commission has 25 working days to approve (Phase I) or begin an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

McDonald’s Enters PC Gaming: KFConsole Competition?

Original Source: McDonald’s enters the PC gaming scene: could the KFConsole have competition? 

Could we have a new top gaming chair? McDonald’s, of all places, released a PC gaming throne to promote their new McCrispy burger in the UK.

In a post on McDonald’s UK’s Facebook page, the fast-food giant showcased the chair, which is probably the ugliest gaming chair ever. The race car-inspired main body is a hideous yellow with “McCrispy” written all over it, while the head cushion has the McDonald’s golden arches.

The “McCrispy Ultimate Gaming Chair” is a nice gaming chair built to celebrate the debut of a subpar chicken burger, which McD’s calls “game-changing.” Naturally, it has a few useful (read: idiotic) functions.

These feature a fry holder, dip slots, a stain-proof coating, and a small hot box “to keep your McCrispy warm during game-play.” The word “gameplay” is hyphenated. I beg firms to consult with actual games industry people before implementing these schemes.

Analysis: More clowning than normal for Ronald.

I don’t like this latest attempt by fast-food restaurants to cater to the “gaming market.” Gaming is such a broad interest that it includes all kinds of people, therefore it’s not as simple a marketing outlet as many huge non-gaming firms tend to think.

It’s true that some have done better. Monster Energy’s Monster Ultra cans feature Wraith from Apex Legends, but there seems to be a method to generate positive publicity from a gaming-related marketing effort.

The answer: don’t take yourself too seriously, because gamers don’t. The KFConsole, a gaming PC with a chamber to keep wings warm, was released in 2020 by the fried chicken giant. ‘I Love You, Colonel Sanders!’, a humorous dating sim depicting the Colonel as an anime guy, was released shortly after. By the way, Steam offers it for free.

Mercifully, only one McCrispy Ultimate Gaming Chair (bleurgh) will be sold, with a prize draw on the company’s UK Facebook page deciding the winner. Three more were made and handed to streamers as part of the campaign, according to TheGamer. November 13 marks the competition’s end.

McDonald’s, what’s next? Can we expect a gaming PC with a Hamburglar theme? Fans with yellow “M”s on graphics cards? I hope not. Ronald, stick to fries.

Japan’s PC Gaming Industry Doubled in 3 Years

Original Source: Japan’s PC Gaming Industry Size Has Expanded Twice In Last 3 Years

Video games have been popular for decades. Recent AAA games include realistic graphics and engrossing gameplay. In recent decades, gaming has also expanded in popularity.

We can now experience virtual words from arcade pixels. PC gaming has always been the most popular due to its versatility and capabilities.

Mod support and PC upgrades are benefits.

PC gaming is booming worldwide, and Japan is rising faster than ever. The latest data shows how Japanese PC players are rapidly growing and how gaming is slowly transitioning to PC.

A survey by Japan’s KADOKAWA ASCII Research Laboratories, initially highlighted by KantanGames, shows that the Japanese PC gaming market has expanded faster than ever before. KantanGames reports a three-year doubling of the Japanese PC gaming sector.

KADOKAWA ASCII reported 16 million Japanese PC players last year, with 4 to 5 million playing exclusively. It’s a small portion of 55.4 million gamers. Japan had 125.7 million people last year.

The gain is impressive considering the same company reported 11 million PC gamers in 2015, with 2.2 million dedicated to PC gaming. By 2021, the overall number increased by 45%, or 22% if the total gaming population (45 million) is counted.

In 2021, Japan’s console, portable, smartphone, and PC gaming business was valued at 2 trillion yen, according to research. Just US$13.642 billion. Consider last year’s Yen depreciation.

In 2021, Japan’s PC gaming market alone sold 131.3 billion yen (US$896 million), according to KADOKAWA ASCII. PC gaming was popular in Japan in the 1980s, but the revival of consoles and cellphones slowed its growth.

PUBG and Fortnite’s critical acclaim in 2018 sparked Japan’s PC gaming boom. Since then, numbers have grown faster than ever.

Japanese PC players have grown over the past decade thanks to new games, support, and Steam storefront chances. Japanese players also choose indie and international games, catching up to the west.

These reasons have grown Japan’s PC gaming market overall. PC gaming in Japan is likely to expand rapidly.

What do you think about Japan’s PC gaming market doubling in three years? Leave your thoughts below.

Summary of Today’s Computer Gaming News

Overall, the European Commission has launched a comprehensive probe into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard. The Commission is worried that Microsoft may restrict access to Activision Blizzard’s console and PC video games, especially to high-profile and highly popular games (so-called ‘AAA games’) like ‘Call of Duty,’ if it completes the acquisition. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 23 March 2023, to make a decision. The opening of an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

On the other hand, to celebrate the release of its new McCrispy burger in the UK, McDonald’s has, of all places, unveiled a new throne for PC gamers. The fast food chain displayed the chair in a Facebook post from the United Kingdom. The main body, which takes its design cues from race cars, is a sickening shade of yellow covered in repeated branding for “McCrispy,” while the removable headrest proudly displays the golden arches of the McDonald’s insignia. The ‘McCrispy Ultimate Gaming Chair’ has a few useful characteristics since it is a gaming chair made to commemorate the introduction of a subpar chicken burger that McD’s advertises as ‘game-changing,’ a shaky correlation if I’ve ever seen one.

Finally, according to KantanGames, the PC gaming market in Japan has doubled in size over the past three years. Based on a recent research by KADOKAWA ASCII, of Japan’s estimated 16 million PC gamers, between 4 and 5 million are dedicated players. The total gaming population is estimated to be 55.4 million, therefore this percentage represents a very small slice of the pie. About 125.7 million people called Japan home last year. Given that the same firm estimated only 11 million PC players in 2015, with 2.2 million users dedicated solely to PC gaming, this expansion is remarkable. In other words, by 2021, the overall number will have increased by an astounding 45 percent; if the entire population of gamers (45 million) is taken into account, the increase is actually 22 percent.

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