Microsoft earned Nvidia help for embattled Activision deal

Microsoft earned Nvidia help for embattled Activision deal

Microsoft Corp. announced a deal to bring the games to Nvidia Corp.’s GeForce Now service, the portion of efforts to show that the industry will remain competitive if it’s allowed to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc. in a $69 billion deal.

Microsoft President Brad Smith disclosed the Nvidia accord after meeting with European Union officials in Brussels on Tuesday. The partnership “resolves Nvidia’s concerns” about the merger, the companies said in a joint statement. “Nvidia, therefore, is offering its full support for regulatory approval of the acquisition,” they said.

The software giant is fighting to save the embattled deal, which faces regulatory hurdles at home and abroad. While Europe reviews the transaction, the US Federal Trade Commission has already sued to block it.

Microsoft has been looking to forge ties with other gaming companies to show that its titles will remain freely available after the Activision deal. Critics of the acquisition are concerned that the company will restrict access to games or give preferential treatment to its Xbox system and cloud-gaming service. Microsoft also signed a 10-year deal with Nintendo Co. to bring Activision’s Call of Duty to that company’s gaming platform.

Under the Nvidia deal, the companies will begin work on making Microsoft’s Xbox games available for streaming via GeForce Now. That will eventually include Call of Duty, according to the statement.

Nvidia had been initially concerned that the combination might restrict the availability of games on streaming services, said Phil Eisler, the head of GeForce Now. The company is now a proponent of the deal and believes it will help transform Nvidia’s service and help to stream in general.