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Ubisoft believes physical game disks will never completely go away even wth cloud gaming

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Microsoft was able to close the deal today to purchase Activision Blizzard because it agreed to let another game publisher, Ubisoft, get the cloud gaming rights to current and future Activision Blizzard games outside of Europe for the next 15 years. Today, we learned a bit more about those plans.

In an in-house interview, the company's Senior Vice President Chris Early stated that the agreement will allow Ubisoft to add Activision Blizzard titles to its own Ubisoft+ service, along with a way to "license the streaming access of these games to cloud gaming companies, service providers and console makers". The deals will also include all of the extra DLC, expansion packs, and other in-game content with those titles.

Early was also asked how cloud gaming could affect the future of physical game disks. He stated:

Some people will always want to own the physical disk. I just don't think it's going away. Do I think physical sales might get lower over time? Sure, but will it ever completely go away? I don't think so.

He also provided an explanation of why Ubisoft's cloud gaming rights to Activision Blizzard games will not extend to much of Europe:

In the European Economic Area, the European Commission required Microsoft to allow cloud streaming services to let anybody who owns the games in that territory to play the Activision Blizzard games via streaming for free. For example, a company in France could come to Microsoft and say, ‘I want to stream the gameplay of Call of Duty to people who own Call of Duty already,’ and Microsoft is required to license those rights for free to that company so players can stream games they own. It's known as “bring your own game,” and that’s why the rights are non-exclusive in some regions.

Early did not offer a specific timetable for when Activision Blizzard games would be available on Ubisoft+ to stream, saying only that the company would be taking the time to work on the cloud back-end technology so it can support "the experience we want players to have."

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