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by Published on 2023-09-25 06:02 PM

This Week in WoW - 25 September 2023
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Each week we’ll look ahead to what’s in store for World of Warcraft, share the latest news, and keep you in the know byte by byte.

The Final Surge for the September Trading Post is now active. It’s a good time to make a final push, fill the bar in your Traveler’s Log, and collect the Crusty Crawler’s Mount—before things get ghastly for October’s Trading Post.

News and Events This Week

  • 25 September
  • 26 September
  • 29 September
    • (Article) Blues News
    • (Article) October Trading Post
    • (Article) Introducing the World of Warcraft® BlizzCon Guild Clash!
by Published on 2023-09-22 08:59 PM

Microsoft Activision Blizzard Deal Gets Preliminary Approval From UK's CMA
UK's Competition and Markets Authority has announced that the new sale of Activision's cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft substantially addresses previous concerns and opens the door to the deal being cleared.
Originally Posted by CMA
While the CMA has identified limited residual concerns with the new deal, Microsoft has put forward remedies which the CMA has provisionally concluded should address these issues.

The CMA is now consulting on the remedies before making a final decision.

The new deal

Earlier this year, the CMA blocked Microsoft from acquiring the whole of Activision due to concerns that the deal would harm competition in cloud gaming in the UK. After that deal was blocked, Microsoft submitted a restructured transaction in August for the CMA to review.

Under that new deal, Microsoft will not purchase the cloud gaming rights held by Activision, which will instead be sold to an independent third party, Ubisoft Entertainment SA (Ubisoft), before the deal is completed.

The prior sale of the cloud gaming rights will establish Ubisoft as a key supplier of content to cloud gaming services, replicating the role that Activision would have played in the market as an independent player.

In contrast to the original deal, Microsoft will no longer control cloud gaming rights for Activision’s content, so would not be in a position to limit access to Activision’s key content to its own cloud gaming service or to withhold those games from rivals. Unlike the remedies the CMA previously rejected, Ubisoft will be free to offer Activision’s games both directly to consumers and to all cloud gaming service providers however it chooses, including for buy-to-play or multigame subscription services, or any new model for providing content that might emerge as the market develops. The deal with Ubisoft also requires Microsoft to port Activision games to operating systems other than Windows and support game emulators when requested, addressing the other main shortcoming with the previous remedies package.

Today’s decision

The CMA considers that the restructured deal makes important changes that substantially address the concerns it set out in relation to the original transaction earlier this year.

In particular, the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft will prevent this important content – including games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft – from coming under the control of Microsoft in relation to cloud gaming. The CMA originally found that Microsoft already has a strong position in cloud gaming services and could have used its control over Activision content to stifle competition and reinforce this position. The new deal instead results in the cloud streaming rights for Activision’s games being transferred to an independent player, Ubisoft, maintaining open competition as the market for cloud gaming develops over the coming years.

While the restructured deal is materially different to the previous transaction and substantially addresses most concerns, the CMA has limited residual concerns that certain provisions in the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft could be circumvented, terminated, or not enforced.

To address these concerns, Microsoft has offered remedies to ensure that the terms of the sale of Activision’s rights to Ubisoft are enforceable by the CMA. The CMA has provisionally concluded that this additional protection should resolve those residual concerns.

The CMA has now opened a consultation, until 6 October, on Microsoft’s proposed remedies.

Colin Raftery, senior director of mergers and Phase 1 decision maker, said:

“This is a new and substantially different deal, which keeps the cloud distribution of these important games in the hands of a strong independent supplier, Ubisoft, rather than under the control of Microsoft.”

“With additional protections to make sure that the deal is properly implemented, this will maintain the structure of the market, enabling open competition to continue to shape the development of cloud gaming in the years to come, and giving UK gamers the opportunity to access Activision’s games in many different ways, including through cloud-based multigame subscription services.”

Sarah Cardell, CEO of the CMA, said:

“The CMA’s position has been consistent throughout – this merger could only go ahead if competition, innovation, and choice in cloud gaming was preserved. In response to our original prohibition, Microsoft has now substantially restructured the deal, taking the necessary steps to address our original concerns.

“It would have been far better, though, if Microsoft had put forward this restructure during our original investigation. This case illustrates the costs, uncertainty and delay that parties can incur if a credible and effective remedy option exists but is not put on the table at the right time.”

Key Takeaways:
  • UK's CMA preliminarily approves the sale of Activision's cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft.
  • Under the new deal, Microsoft will not control the cloud gaming rights for Activision's content, in order to ensure fair competition from rivals.
  • Microsoft will be required to support game emulators and port Activision games to non-Windows platforms when requested.
  • The CMA considers this restructured deal as substantially addressing competition concerns.
  • A consultation period for Microsoft's proposed remedies is open until October 6th.

Following the news, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith shared on Twitter (X) that the company is happy with today's response from the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority).

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent a message to employees, expressing his gratitude for their dedication and highlighting the significant milestone of the merger's preliminary approval by the UK's CMA.
Originally Posted by Bobby Kotick

I want to share an important update on our planned merger with Microsoft.

Today the UK regulatory authority, the CMA, issued a preliminary approval of our merger with Microsoft based on the solutions Microsoft presented in connection with its new merger application. This approval is critical to completing our merger.

The next step is for the CMA to gather third-party feedback, after which the CMA will reach a final decision.

As I said when we announced the deal, this transaction will help us accelerate our ambitions for the future of gaming and enable us to better serve our players. Microsoft recognizes the commitment to excellence and creative independence that has served us well for the last 30 years. I am confident that their resources, technology, and tools will provide us even greater opportunities to create even better games.

This is a significant milestone for the merger and a testament to our solutions-oriented work with regulators. I remain optimistic as we continue the journey toward completion and am very grateful to each of you for your dedication and focus throughout this process.

As the regulators continue their process, I will keep you updated on our progress towards our expected closing.

With gratitude,

by Published on 2023-09-22 07:44 PM

WoW Classic Hardcore - EU Servers Lag Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi all,

Just a quick update before we head into the weekend:

While we initially saw some improvements following last nights work and restarts, things appear to have become progressively worse again and troubleshooting continues.

In terms of in-game messaging it is being considered, though keep in mind not everyone is affected and a generic message about potentially running into issues is already true at all times. Having warnings appear and disappear might simply create unrealistic expectations about when it is and isn’t “safe” to play.

As for rolling back or reviving dead characters we’ve tried our best to be as clear as possible from the very start that it’s not something we will consider, which remains the case.

I understand losing characters to any technical issue is disappointing, but for purpose of keeping this thread useful for the ongoing work to address the issue, please try to keep the discussion to currently experienced symptoms – and thank you to those already contributing with this info!

Stay safe for now and hopefully the underlying issue can be finally addressed soon!
by Published on 2023-09-22 05:03 PM

Blues News - September 22, 2023
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Stay up to date with World of Warcraft when you join us each week as we round up some of the latest top blue posts and discussions.

Here are this week's highlights:


  • New Public Events Coming with 10.2: In the 10.2 Guardians of the Dream patch, new public events that feed into each other in the Emerald Dream zone.
  • 10.2 Updates on the PTR: A series of updates were deployed to the Guardians of the Dream PTR, including updates to Classes, Items, PvP, and more.
  • 10.2 Updates to Demon Hunter and Balance and Feral Druids:
    • Demon Hunter: Demon Hunter talent updates will roll in as they become ready, starting with Havoc tree changes in this week’s PTR build.
    • Balance and Feral Druids: A couple of important changes to Balance and Feral Druids are coming in the PTR build next week.

WoW Classic

  • Wrath Classic Season 7 Ending Soon: The current PvP season in Wrath Classic is ending soon. Additional details can be found in the forum post.
  • 3.4.3 Testing Update Includes a Special Reward: An update to the 3.4.3 PTR has been deployed, which includes a meta-achievement and special reward new to Wrath of the Lich King Classic for completing it—the adorable ghostly pup, Arfas.
by Published on 2023-09-22 12:20 AM

Brewfest 2023

WoW Hotfixes - September 21, 2023
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

  • The Waking Dream public event in the Azure Span should now properly start.
  • Brewfest
    • Fixed an issue that prevented Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest from being awarded to players below level 70.


  • The weekly Time Rifts quest "When Time Needs Mending" can now be completed in a raid.

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