Xbox’s future doesn’t depend on deal with Activision Blizzard, assures Phil Spencer

Microsoft and Team Xbox will hold further talks this week regarding the company’s ongoing attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard – this time with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Ahead of these talks, Xbox boss Phil Spencer spoke to UK outlet The Times about the deal.

In the interview, Spencer reveals that he contacted Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida about the acquisition back in January 2021, which apparently resulted in a “very cordial” conversation. Still, Sony ultimately turned down the acquisition, and various regulators are now concerned about how it could hurt the industry.

The Xbox boss still can’t address some of these concerns:

“I don’t have a good reason for that…how better competition in consoles is somehow detrimental to consumers.”

In the interview, Spencer goes on to point out that the fact that Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo are doing well in the console market with their own strengths and unique qualities gives consumers more choice. He also mentions that he would hate to see a scenario like the phone market where there are “only two manufacturers” and states that there are “three good contenders” in the console market right now.

The “strategic aspect” of the acquisition, according to Spencer, is to increase Microsoft’s presence in mobile gaming, and not have anything to do with PlayStation’s involvement in Call of Duty.

Another thing he points out is that for many of the regulators involved in the Activision Blizzard acquisition, it appears the gaming industry is getting their first real scrutiny. He says he appreciates the opportunity to spend time with them and even help raise them in certain circumstances.

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But what happens after all if the deal doesn’t go through? Well, you’ll be glad to know that the future of Xbox doesn’t depend on it, according to Phil Spencer – he says it’s not a “linchpin” to the brand’s long-term viability:

“This is an important acquisition for us. It’s not a long-term pivot — Xbox will exist if that deal doesn’t go through.

Here you go! The saga continues, Spencer is due to be in London this week ahead of these talks with the CMA. We’ll have to wait and see if we get more details in the next few days…

What do you think of Phil Spencer’s comments here? Let us know below.


Fraser has an unhealthy obsession with everything related to Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series, and he’s well versed in sports games on Xbox. He also supports Walsall FC – that West Midlands team you’ve never heard of.