Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Blocked by UK.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority has blocked Microsoft’s $104 billion (aus dollars) takeover of Activision Blizzard. They claimed that allowing the deal to go through would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market and therefore lead to reduced innovation and less choice. Despite a strong response from the panel of experts that lead the analysis, Microsoft vows to appeal the decision and fight for their acquisition to go through.
Even if it can succeed in the UK, Microsoft still needs to gain approval in Europe and the United States before the deal can go through and neither seem close to a yes!
Just a headsup! There will be some spoilers for Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores in the following section.
The Burning Shores DLC for Horizon Forbidden West released last week and was met with an onslaught of negative reviews on Metacritic. The reviews aren’t complaining about technical issues or bad gameplay, these don’t seem to be issues the game has, but rather about the “woke agenda” being forced upon players. During the events of Burning Shore, Aloy builds a relationship with new character Seyka. A relationship that can turn romantic, with the two sharing a kiss, if a specific dialogue option is selected. Some players found this optional scene truly offensive and review-bombed the DLC to a current score of 4.0 and a low of 2.7.
Here’s an excerpt from one of my favourites: “Metacritic delete my 0/10 review!!! Freedom of speech! DLC look amazing but is boring as hell. It’s unnecessary DLC just to convert that Aloy into girls!!! that it. But nope I completely disagree with that cause in the USA you have to do that, with popular entertainment names. Otherwise, you will be cancelled for freedom of speech and facts”.
They also promised they would be making changes to their moderation processes in the coming months, but it’s not clear yet what that will look like.
Wizards of the Coast sends mercenaries after leaker.
A YouTuber called Oldschoolmtg managed to get their hands on the cards from Magic: The Gathering’s latest set, “March of the Machine: The Aftermath” which was not expected to hit stores until May 12th and revealed most of them in an unboxing video. WotC was quick to act, tracking the youtuber down, confiscating the cards, and having the video pulled.
In a new video “The Aftermath of The Aftermath” Oldschoolmtg claimed that the cards were not stolen but had been given to him by a friend who had believed they were part of an already published set and revealed that Wizards of the Coast send the Pinkertons to retrieve the cards from him. You may recognise the Pinkertons as antagonists in Read Dead Redemption 2, but they are a very real private security firm with a reputation for being ruthless. Cannon claimed they intimidated him with threats such as a $200,000 fine and up to a decade of jail time if he did not cooperate.
In response to the situation WotC says they sent the Pinkertons as “part of their investigation”, and only after several attempts to call him went unanswered. After getting in touch with Wizards directly they were far more understanding, and the two parties seem to have sorted out the situation.
Regardless of how it all played out in the end, it is still alarming that Wizards of the Coast took the actions it did. It is a clear overstep to send armed guards to intimidate a youtuber, who at the time had around 4000 subscribers, and there are a hundred better ways they could have handled it.