FTC Expected to Challenge Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Deal

The arguments Microsoft put forward for allowing the deal to go ahead are apparently being met with skepticism inside the Federal Trade Commission.

I’ve been working at PCMag since November 2016, covering all areas of technology and video game news. Before that I spent nearly 15 years working at Geek.com as a writer and editor. I also spent the first six years after leaving university as a professional game designer working with Disney, Games Workshop, 20th Century Fox, and Vivendi.

FTC Expected to Challenge Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Deal Image

(Credit: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency)

Microsoft’s desire to acquire Activision Blizzard is expected to take a huge blow with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "likely" to challenge the $68.7 billion deal.

As Politico reports (Opens in a new window) , three people with knowledge of the matter believe the FTC is going to file an antitrust lawsuit to block the deal going ahead.

The investigation is still ongoing and the four FTC commissioners have yet to meet with lawyers from either company. However, FTC staff who have been compiling information during the investigation, including depositions from key people at Microsoft (Satya Nadella) and Activision Blizzard (Bobby Kotick), are thought to be "skeptical of the companies’ arguments."

The FTC isn’t commenting publicly yet, but the main issue is the "unfair boost" Microsoft is expected to receive in the video game market once the deal is done. It’s important to remember that Activision Blizzard holds the intellectual property rights for Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk’s, Spyro, Skylanders, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and Candy Crush Saga.

There’s little doubt transferring all of that IP to a console maker will give it a boost, but Microsoft has basically been arguing it shouldn’t be a reason to block the sale. However, if the FTC does decide to challenge the deal it puts Microsoft in a difficult situation as the UK and EU are already carrying out more detailed investigations with what looks like equal levels of skepticism.

The Best Free PC, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold Games to Claim in November

You love gaming, but you’re not made of money. Lucky for you, PS Plus, Xbox Live, Epic Games, and Amazon Prime offer free titles every month. Here’s what you can download in November 2022.

The Best Free PC, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold Games to Claim in November Image

Nioh 2 (Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Everyone loves free games. Steam has a hefty collection of them, but some places offer titles for only a limited amount of time. Epic Games gives away multiple games a week. Amazon’s Prime Gaming subscription service has new titles each month. But if you’re not paying attention, you’ll lose out on a PC game you could have kept forever.

In an effort to help gamers know what’s out there to claim, we’re tracking the best free games available in a given month. While some titles are free outright, others are included as part of a subscription service. Here’s everything you can grab this month.

Free PlayStation Plus Games for November 2022

PlayStation Plus (Opens in a new window) is Sony’s online multiplayer and games subscription service. In early 2022, it rolled out new plans (Opens in a new window) ; prices vary depending on which tier you choose, but access starts at $9.99 per month. As part of the service, you can claim new games to keep every month, and they’re accessible as long as you have an active PlayStation Plus subscription. Subscribers who own a PS5 can also keep games from a curated selection of titles.

Claim games from your console by choosing the PlayStation Plus button on the PlayStation home screen or going through the PlayStation Network Store. Games can also be added from the PlayStation Store (Opens in a new window) website as long as Automatic Downloads (Opens in a new window) are enabled. Once this is set up, you can add games from the web store and they’ll be remotely downloaded to your console.

Nioh 2 / Nioh 2 Remastered (Until Nov. 30)

In the action RPG Nioh 2 (Opens in a new window) , you control a half-human, half Yokai warrior as you fight through supernatural enemies and samurai warriors during Japan’s Sengoku period. This giveaway includes the standard edition, as well as the Remastered upgrade for the PS5.

Lego Harry Potter Collection (Until Nov. 30)

The Lego Harry Potter Collection (Opens in a new window) brings together remastered versions of the previously separate Years 1-4 and Years 5-7. Cast spells, brew potions, solve puzzles, take lessons, and duel your rivals in this Lego recreation of the Harry Potter films.

Heavenly Bodies (Until Nov. 30)

In the physics-based puzzle game Heavenly Bodies, you control the body of an astronaut out in space. Use the game’s controls to move the spaceman’s limbs and complete various tasks.

PlayStation Plus Collection – PS5 Only

Those who own a PlayStation 5 and subscribe to PlayStation Plus now have access to a curated collection of PS4 games. These games can be claimed at any time and remain playable as long as there is an active subscription. The current lineup, from Sony and partner studios, includes:

Detroit: Become Human

Infamous Second Son

Ratchet and Clank

The Last Guardian

The Last of Us Remastered

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Batman: Arkham Knight

Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition

Monster Hunter: World

Mortal Kombat X

Resident Evil 7 biohazard

Free Xbox Live Gold Games for November 2022

Xbox Live Gold (Opens in a https://jiji.ng/ new window) is the premium subscription tier of the Xbox Live online gaming service that costs $9.99 a month or $24.99 for three months. It’s also included in the cost of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Among the many perks you get are free Xbox games every month. Claimed games can only be played as long as you have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.

To claim your free games with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, go to the Gold section on your Xbox console or visit this page (Opens in a new window) on a computer to queue up the game for download (if you have remote installs (Opens in a new window) enabled). Games are added on the 1st and 16th of every month.

Bomber Crew: Deluxe Edition (Until Nov. 15)

In the strategic simulation game Bomber Crew (Opens in a new window) , you must keep your bomber plane in shape to complete various missions. Victory comes down to your ability to train a crew of bombers, manage fuel and ammo, fight off enemies, and survive dangerous weather conditions.

Praetorians – HD Remaster (Until Nov. 30)

The real-time strategy game Praetorians (Opens in a new window) puts you in control of the Roman Republic, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, or the barbarian tribes. Unlike other games in the genre, you don’t need to gather resources; just recruit soldiers, build structures, and fight.

Dead End Job (Nov. 16 – Dec. 15)

Dead End Job (Opens in a new window) is a twin-stick shooter where you bust up ghosts for a living. Shoot ghosts with your plasma gun, then suck them up with the vacuum on your back. The game includes procedurally generated levels and couch co-op for extra variety

Free Epic Games Store Games for November 2022

Epic Games gives away free titles every week; no need for a subscription. Head over to the Epic Games Store website (Opens in a new window) or open the launcher, scroll down to the Free Games section, and hit the Free Now banner on the title you want. Then, go through the process as if you were purchasing the game. You won’t be charged, and the game will appear in your games library on the Epic Games launcher.

Saturnalia (Until Nov. 3)

In the survival horror adventure game Saturnalia (Opens in a new window) , you explore a mysterious, maze-like village. Along the way, you solve puzzles, collect useful items, and manage your supply of matches to fend off the darkness. If you die, the village reconfigures itself.

Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus (Until Nov. 3)

Mechanicus (Opens in a new window) is a turn-based tactics game featuring grid-based combat. You are in control of the most technologically advanced army in the Imperium. You will recruit new units, augment your soldiers, manage resources, and make game-altering decisions.

Filament (Nov. 3 – 10)

Experience the mysterious of The Alabaster, a spaceship that has been locked down and whose crew has gone missing. In Filament (Opens in a new window) , you must investigate the ship and solve over 300 cable-based puzzles.

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam (Nov. 3 – 10)

Rising Storm 2 (Opens in a new window) is a multiplayer tactical FPS set during the Vietnam War that focuses on teamwork and realistic mechanics. Players can choose between factions on both sides of the conflict and make use of era-specific weapons. The title includes multiple game modes for up to 64 players.

Free GOG Games for November 2022

GOG doesn’t have regular giveaways as some other websites do, but when there is a free game to claim, you can grab it right from the front page. Look for a banner with a free game and countdown, and click the green button to claim the game.

In between giveaways, GOG always has a small collection of free games (Opens in a new window) , which mainly includes classic computer games that have been made available at no cost.

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Collection (Until Nov. 3)

The Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Collection (Opens in a new window) brings together Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – The Secret Files and Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – The Christmas Chronicles in one package. In these platformers, you can play as Jazz, his brother Spaz, or their sister Lori in the fight against Devan Shell.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

GOG allows you to score a free copy of the first Witcher game if you download the GOG Galaxy desktop client (Opens in a new window) . Go to the Recent view and click the giveaway button at the top of the screen. As long as you agree to let GOG send you news and offers, the game is free to claim.

Free Games Collection

You can grab any of GOG’s free games by adding them to your cart and proceeding as if it were a normal purchase. The games will then be added to your account for $0. Standouts include Beneath a Steel Sky, Shadow Warrior, Postal, and several Ultima games. Here’s the list of full games available for free: