"Game On" is The Fly's weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.
ACTIVISION/MICROSOFT: Microsoft (MSFT) is anticipated to secure EU antitrust clearance for its proposed $69B takeover of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) with its offer of licensing deals to competitors, Reuters' Foo Yun Chee reported late last week, citing three people familiar with the matter. The European Commission, which is set to make a determination on the deal by April 25, is not expected to demand that the Xbox maker sell assets to gain approval, the author said, noting that Microsoft might also need to offer other behavioral remedies to assuage concerns of other parties than Sony (SONY).
UK SALES: Roughly 2.8M console and PC video games were purchased across the U.K. last month, a 11% year-over-year increase from February of 2022, with Warner Bros. Discovery's (WBD) "Hogwarts Legacy" by far selling the most units of any game in the month, Gamesindustry.biz's Christopher Dring reported this week, citing data from GSD. Console sales for the month rose 65% year-over-year and 14% from January, with PlayStation 5 unit sales up 316% year-over-year and Xbox Series X/S sales up 21% from January. Meanwhile, Nintendo Switch (NTDOY) unit sales in February in the U.K. fell 29% year-over-year and 15% from January, the author said.
On the software side, following "Hogwarts Legacy" in the top ten in the U.K. were titles such as Electronic Arts' (EA) "FIFA 23," Activision's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II," Take-Two's (TTWO) "GTA V," "NBA 2K23," and "Red Dead Redemption 2," and Sony's "The Last of Us: Part II." Dring noted that there were no Nintendo games in the top ten in February, though he added that Nintendo does not share digital data with the charts company. One of Nintendo biggest releases for the month, "Metroid Prime Remastered," only became available physically late in February, and is therefore missing from the charts, Dring said.
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