Activision executive uses The Last of Us' success to grab FTC's attention

Lulu Cheng Meservey, the current CCO of Activision, is using the success of the HBO series, The Last of Us to garner the attention of the Federal Trade Commission which is holding off the acquisition deal between Microsoft and Activision. The Last of Us is an HBO series and TV adaptation of a popular video game franchise by the same name, published under Sony Computer Entertainment. The FTC is holding off Microsoft’s deal of acquiring one of the leading video game companies, Activision, on the belief that the deal will offer Microsoft an unfair advantage in the video game industry. Sony, which is a direct competitor to Microsoft’s console business, has criticized Microsoft several times regarding this deal and has supported the FTC during this debate. But Lulu Cheng Meservey pointed out to the FTC that the success of the HBO series, The Last of Us shows that the gaming companies such as Sony can still generate a significant amount of revenue, even after the completion of the acquisition deal between Activision and Microsoft. 

The conversation started when Kelly McLaughlin, the TV celebrity who is known for his time with the Dungeon Dudes, made a post on Twitter to praise the new show from HBO, The Last of Us. In his post, Kelly McLaughlin said that he is in awe with how well the show on popular gaming franchises is being adopted by the Television and this could be the best TV adaptation of any video game. Lulu Cheng Meservey, the current CCO of Activision, retweeted the tweet from Kelly McLaughlin while also tagging the Federal Trade Commission. She called out the FTC while asking if the agency is seeing this or not. She highlighted the success of The Last of Us while saying that the show is breaking many records and is a true blockbuster as the show is receiving viewerships as high as 10 million. She urged the FTC to look into this as the success of the show means a direct success for Sony Computer Entertainment or Sony’s console market. 

This response came as a surprise for everyone as the success of The Last of Us has nothing to do with the ongoing acquisition deal between Microsoft and Activision. The FTC has kept this deal on hold as acquiring Activision, which holds a significantly higher percentage of the video gaming market, would provide a significant edge to Microsoft against its competitors such as Sony and Nintendo. Activision has some of the largest titles such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, etc., under its product portfolio. Hence, the possibility proposed by the FTC has a higher chance of becoming a reality. And although the Last of Us show is turning out to be one of the best-performing shows on HBO, it still does not mean a direct success for Sony’s gaming business. rather, it means success for Sony Entertainment. Thus the ideology which Activision and Microsoft are trying to achieve through this the Last of Us, has just no ground. This is why the comments made by Activision’s CCO have just baffled everyone rather than allowing people to side with the company.