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About Choze

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    N-Europe Forum Aficionado


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  1. What legal action? The MS 'deal' is worse than the Ticketmaster deal (never mind the contradictions and pure irrelevance). The typical actual length of these deals are less than 2 months following a merger. MS havent begun to answer any of the FTC or CMA concerns. edit: For example the CMA refer to Warcraft as too important for one entity to own and also suggest a Blizzard divesture. The MS stance is they do not want to be policed in any way shape or form and have created a circus around it. This isnt just about gaming as certain future aqusitions may be off limits or trickier.
  2. Sorry here. Rushed posting does this! https://kotaku.com/activision-bobby-kotick-uk-cma-microsoft-xbox-deal-69-1850085219 The link above will explain. Kotick (Head of Activision Blizzard) is upset that the UK has oppossed the deal in its current form. There are alot of stuff along these lines but that quote stood out. The anti democracy stance does display their anger and is consistent with the other giants. Will be interesting to see how the EU Commission ruling compares! So far the UK CMA is similar to the US FTC. The CMA further adds 'key games' as too important. In the document we know Call of Duty and World of Warcraft at minmum ('other games' are not named) are too important to buy. Several 3rd parties also contributed but are not named publicly. Some interesting tidbits on stuff like importance of how purchases are important. Gamepass has its cons (decreased software sales among several issues) in a heavily redacted section. Network effects of a forced COD advantage on xbox. Switch doing very well but not relevant to COD. Plenty else for news websites for the coming month. Overall it s a superb bit of work from the CMA.
  3. The UK CMA also released their findings publicly following Kotick going after Rishi Sunak as presiding over Death Valley instead of Silicon Valley. https://kotaku.com/activision-bobby-kotick-uk-cma-microsoft-xbox-deal-69-1850085219 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/microsoft-activision-deal-could-harm-uk-gamers Very much in line with the US here. Slightly softer approach with suggesting remedies but I cant be sure, would require time and more reading. I havent read much but the pdf's uploaded are very good. Update: Very juicy stuff in the report!
  4. Gran Turismo 7 (4th March 2022)

    This absolutely does make me want to get the PSVR sooner. Just a question of when. At launch or after?
  5. Edited: Was unfocused so tried to focus this. 1) The big news recently is that the US is going after Google over ads. https://www.adexchanger.com/platforms/its-happening-the-doj-is-suing-google-for-alleged-monopolistic-ad-tech-practices/ Note the similar language that Google and MS use: https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/public-policy/doj-ad-tech-lawsuit-response/ 2) Noticed news articles about claims the EU commission were being manipulated by the US. The details dont quite add up to the processes. MS have been misleading about bargaining with the FTC so this wouldnt be new. 3) The EU will be communicating their issues to MS soon. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_6578 There was an emphasis on the PC/computer market too. Will be interesting to see where they land. Windows already is dominant and they have squeezed MacOS even further as of late despite market share changes. The iGPU in current Mac M chips are also better than the average dGPU in windows laptops. Worth reminding everyone that gaming is an entertainment industry. Its interesting to see companies like MS talk about entertainment in tech business form e.g. Azure or GamePass.
  6. You are welcome. No doubt that tech regulation will only increase alongside M&A resistance. Its for the better and there is alot of pressure that has built up. https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/dealmakers-grapple-with-unprecedented-us-challenge-mergers-2022-12-27/ Lets see how the EU (and the UK) get on with this gaming stuff. Lots of other interesting movement happening from ad tech to app store regulation.
  7. https://www.theregister.com/2022/12/23/microsoft_activision_deal_argument/ Seems Microsoft want to attack the regulators themselves rather than their case. Some saying Microsoft want the Republican Supreme Court Judges (the same anti abortion judges) to neuter the FTC so they cant stop almost any kind of merger. That would be worrying, as its an attack on a key institution in a powerful democracy. The damage would be enormous. Not sure the Republicans want another headache for the next election. Ticketmaster and Crypto already have so many people upset. Anti Trust has support from pretty much all the public and political support is also bipartisan. My assumption is that this wont go through and MS are putting on a show. Regarding earlier stuff I wanted to say something about lobbyists. Pretty much only the MS affiliated lobbyists were talking in favour at that point in time. https://www.citizen.org/article/ftc-big-tech-revolving-door-problem-report/ https://therevolvingdoorproject.org/the-industry-agenda-big-tech/ This is much like what happens in the UK. Unbiased experts come on TV or in articles concealing that they are lobbyists. An example is Terrell McSweeny, former FTC Commissioner listed in the above links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn_NFatzKRM Bear in mind unlike the Meta Within case, the categorisations for video game consoles are well established.
  8. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/12/fortnite-video-game-maker-epic-games-pay-more-half-billion-dollars-over-ftc-allegations $520M in fines. Huge news.
  9. Pretty good stuff! Not legal here but have done various research work on Innovation/ competition with a business/tech perspective. As in market dynamics, how do different platforms work, app store rules and innovation etc. I probably should have followed more! Assumed it would pass easily because regulators have a reputation of being toothless... and that maybe I wouldnt enjoy games anymore. The document the FTC released shows Microsoft were way off the mark about making deals. Massive overconfidence on their part and rather sleazy. Typically when acquisitions go through, nothing needs to be said before rulings. No need to make deals at this stage. The US FTC wants to block any future acquisitions of the big 5 major publishers. This bit hasn’t been reported in the news oddly. Windows and Azure are again major issues. Nvidia are named re Azure client restrictions. iOS, Windows and Android are factored in, which is correct. As it’s art/ entertainment, content and exclusivity matter most. Bethesda used as an example of what will happen to Activision. The game redacted is likely Elder Scrolls. The console categorisation is spot on (Switch not a PS5 competitor), this is standard market categorisation in business and academia. The US needs to update their anti trust rules if this is not the case. These agencies (FTC, EU Comm) have access to the best of the best experts, research and modelling. People saying they know more than these experts have no clue. It’s kind of like arguing against a massive team of surgeons who pioneer new surgery techniques. Its best to leave them to it. At the end of the day its fantastic news that this happening. Most of the researchers I always speak to prefer the US taking the lead over the EU, despite what the news say. Big tech companies such as Microsoft always occupy a position of zero risk. But zero risk has such a damaging effect on society, democracy and the economy. They buy easy growth and success but dont care about anything else (Note how Windows and Xbox are run). Innovation can only occur based on their terms which keeps them safe. I am going to bet on this takeover not going through. This battle isnt worth it over the bigger upcoming ones. Anyway thats my zombie midnight post done.
  10. Elden Ring (25th February 2022)

    Cant wait but no major rush here as I am overwhelmed with so many games right now. Destiny, Horizon, Gran Turismo, backlog etc. What a crazy February/March.
  11. I finished the story quicker due to Destiny Witch Queen's release. Progreession focus is necessary for many weapons, abiltiies and: This game had some great Human/Earth themes and serious technology discussion (Turing test, AI ethics etc.) despite having animal and dinosaur robots! Looks like there is some continuation after the story too! Absolutely loved the game and one of my all time favourites. Well done to the team at Guerilla!
  12. Might be due to the weather yesterday. Yeah blown away here. Keep going, There is so much more to do this time round. So many great characters and locations. I feel open world RPG could also fit this game's description. IMO dont waste too much time in the first open area. Get to the Forbidden West! Nothing wrong with the first open area but its like a small taster compared to later. You have plenty of back and forth travel anyway.
  13. Really enjoying it. Have to say that was a very weak and slow start. The linear part was torture for me. Felt nothing like where we left the last game. Luckily once the game goes open world it just accelerates! The first actual Forbidden West area (several hours later) is really special. It's firing on all cylinders right now. Cant wait to back in.
  14. This is probably good as it will get for a hybrid game like this. Interesting reviewers are calling it an open world game. I've platinumed it and always thought of it as an Action RPG first. Should point a ton of reviews are freely spoiling really major locations and story points.