Will Call of Duty be banned in the UK? Microsoft’s Activision deal sparks fears

Calum Patterson
call of duty uk

The blocking of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover by the UK Government could have some serious consequences, but will it result in CoD being “banned” in the United Kingdom, as some fear?

Speculation has grown after reports that an extreme measure could be pulling Activision products from the UK – which would of course include Call of Duty.

In January 2022, Microsoft announced their intention to acquire Activision Blizzard, the developer and publisher of Call of Duty, Overwatch, and more, in a deal worth $70 billion. However, the merger is subject to approval from regulatory authorities across various jurisdictions, including the UK.

In April, the UK Government announced its decision to block the buyout, “over concerns the deal would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come.”

Microsoft has since appealed the decision and is due to speak with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on the issue. But, if it can’t be resolved, will CoD be banned from the UK?

Is COD going to be banned in the UK?

While it is very unlikely, it is not impossible that Call of Duty being removed the UK is an outcome – if Microsoft decided that the value of the takeover outweighed the value of the UK market.

microsoft activision blizzard acquistion photo

However, it’s also likely that this is somewhat of a bargaining chip for the tech giant, and would certainly not be an action they would take without serious reluctance.

The United Kingdom is a very strong and lucrative market for not just Call of Duty, but many other Activision Blizzard games.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is considering all their options – one of which would be pulling their games from the UK and pressing on with the deal, although this was described as an “extreme” option.

Microsoft President Brad Smith and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt are due to meet soon to discuss the topic, so we will update you as soon as there is news from this meeting.

For now, Call of Duty games are still available to buy and play in the UK, as are all of Activision’s titles.

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