Gabe Newell trusts Microsoft after Call of Duty commitment to Steam, even if the FTC doesn’t

Maybe Microsoft can call on him as a character witness.

It’s been a wild week for Microsoft, capped off with an official lawsuit by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission aimed at blocking the company’s $69 billion acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard.

In the lawsuit, the FTC remarked that the company was capable of acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles,” as evidenced by the company supposedly going against assurances made to other regulatory bodies that “it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles. This is reportedly in reference to Microsoft’s decision to make Bethesda games Redfall and Starfield console-exclusive.

One of gaming’s most iconic figures, however, said they trust the intentions of Microsoft, Xbox, and head Phil Spencer but also hinted at their belief that the company will do right by all of Call of Duty‘s customers.

Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell provided a statement to Kotaku following Microsoft’s offer to commit to keeping Call of Duty on Steam, saying that a long-term commitment wasn’t necessary. While citing his belief in not requiring any partner to “lock” in commitments to Steam, Newell also said that he trusts Microsoft’s intentions, saying that “Phil and the games team at Microsoft have always followed through on what they told us they would do.”

Additionally, Newell commented that “Microsoft has all the motivation they need to be on the platforms and devices where Call of Duty customers want to be.” This reads like Newell is of the opinion that Microsoft keeping the franchise on as many platforms as possible is what’s best for business.

The draft agreement for keeping Call of Duty on Steam arrived at Valve around the same time that Microsoft inked a 10-year deal to bring the series to Nintendo. Deals like this will be part of Microsoft’s defense against the FTC lawsuit. The company will now have to prove in court what it’s been saying all along: that the acquisition will lead to more access to games across the entire ecosystem.

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