UK regulator surveying gamers on Microsoft's Activision deal gets hundreds of "abusive" and "unintelligible" replies

Activision Blizzard
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently surveyed gamers on Microsoft's ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard and received hundreds of "abusive" and "unintelligible" responses, which doesn't sound like the gamers I know at all.

As spotted by GameDeveloper, the CMA recently invited members of the public to share their opinions on the Microsoft Activision merger and published the results in a PDF, which revealed that about 75% of respondents were supportive of the buyout. However, it sounds like some of the folks who didn't want the deal to go through were a very raucous minority. Of the 2,600 emails the CMA received, only 2,100 were counted toward the official tally due to hundreds being disqualified for a variety of reasons, some more colorful than others.

"The CMA received approximately 2,600 emails, but some of these were excluded from our review because they contained abusive content (with no other substantive content), or were blank, unintelligible, stated to be from non-UK consumers, or not in English."

The CMA also published an exhaustive list of arguments from both sides. According to the CMA, those in favor of the deal noted Sony and Nintendo's relative strength in the console segment, as well as Microsoft's repeated commitments to keep Activision games like Call of Duty multiplatform. They also argued that the acquisition could push PlayStation to get crafty by improving its subscription service or making more games to compete with Call of Duty.

People who were against the deal cited Microsoft's dominance in the PC space and expressed concern that the buyout is "an attempt to gain a similar position in gaming." They also worried that such a massive buyout would set a bad precedent that might discourage "organic growth," and that it might "[pave] the way for a potential string of future acquisitions of publishers such as Take Two, EA, Ubisoft, thereby increasing concentration in the market."

As for Xbox's pledge to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, the CMA says plenty of folks aren't buying it. "Microsoft will make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox, just as it did with Bethesda after it acquired ZeniMax Media," reads a bullet point from the regulator's summary of views.

Despite this particular survey yielding more yays than nays with regards to the buyout, its sample size is too limited to really paint a comprehensive picture of the public's opinion. And even if it does prove popular with the general public, Microsoft has yet to overcome its biggest challenge: a lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission.

Oh, and don't forget all of the angry gamers suing Microsoft over its ActiBlizz takeover.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.