According to Valve, a long-term Call of Duty Steam offer is unnecessary because “Xbox always keeps its promises”
Gabe Newell, co-founder and CEO of Valve, has provided Microsoft with a much-needed show of support as the Xbox manufacturer tries to persuade anti-trust authorities to approve its plan to acquire Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft executives are scheduled to meet with US FTC chair Lina Khan and other commissioners on Wednesday to present their case for why the $68.7 billion deal shouldn’t be blocked due to competition concerns. The European Commission and the UK’s CMA recently launched extensive investigations into the $68.7 billion deal.
Antitrust authorities scrutinizing the proposed acquisition are paying close attention to a number of important factors, including the viability of the Call of Duty series as a multiplatform product.
Microsoft claimed earlier this week that it had made a 10-year, legally binding offer to Sony to make each new Call of Duty game available on PlayStation the same day it is released for Xbox in an effort to allay certain fears.
On Wednesday, it announced that it had reached a comparable agreement with Nintendo and had also extended an offer to Valve, the proprietor of popular PC digital game distribution service Steam.
Since 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII, the most recent Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 2, has been available on Steam.
In response to Microsoft’s Steam offer, Valve acknowledged receiving a draft contract with a “long-term” Call of Duty arrangement, but stated that it was not essential due to a number of factors.
When Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is complete, “We’re thrilled that Microsoft wants to continue using Steam to connect customers with Call of Duty,” Valve CEO Newell said in a statement made available to Kotaku.
Microsoft has been on Steam for a very long time, and we see this as a message that they are pleased with how well players have received it and the work we are doing. Our task is to continue creating useful features for not only Microsoft but also for other partners and customers of Steam.
“Microsoft offered and even sent us a draft agreement for a long-term commitment to Call of Duty, but it wasn’t necessary for us because a) we don’t believe in requiring any partner to have an agreement that locks them to releasing games on Steam into the distant future b) Phil and the games team at Microsoft have always followed through on what they said they would do so we trust their intentions and c) we think Microsoft has all the motivation they need to be on the right track.
With the exception of PlayStation maker Sony, who, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, was not interested in bargaining with Microsoft over Call of Duty, Spencer asserted that the Activision deal had received “a lot of support from the industry.”
According to him, Sony has been the party raising the majority of the concerns. Sony has been open about the aspects of the project that fall short of their expectations. From where we are standing, it is obvious that they are trying to complete this deal by spending more time with the regulators than they are with us.