Microsoft has pledged to bring Call Of Duty to Nintendo platforms in a 10-year deal if its buyout of Activision Blizzard is approved.
The announcement was tweeted by Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who wrote: “Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call Of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play.”
Spencer also confirmed that Microsoft will continue to release Call Of Duty games on Steam “simultaneously with Xbox” if the deal goes through.
I'm also pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on @Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King. @ATVI_AB @ValveSoftware
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 7, 2022
Microsoft previously offered the same 10-year deal to Sony to keep Call Of Duty on PlayStation, which the company hasn’t publicly agreed to. Sony has previously argued Microsoft’s ownership of the Call of Duty brand could influence players to switch console platforms, despite the company’s public commitment to continue releasing Call Of Duty games on PlayStation.
In an interview with New York Times about the concerns, Spencer said: “There’s been some question about whether what we’re saying is actually how we’re acting, and I think having two major industry partners kind of show that our intent is real and that we can reach agreements is an important thing in this time.”
Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard back in January in a deal that was estimated to have cost approximately £50billion ($68billion). The move has faced scrutiny from a number of regulatory bodies, including the Federal Trade Commission in the US and the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK.
Last month, Spencer claimed the company’s takeover of Activision Blizzard was more focused on gaining traction on mobile, rather than Call Of Duty.
“If we’re not able to find customers on phones, on any screen that someone wants to play on, you really are going to get segmented to a niche part of gaming that running a global business will become very challenging,” Spencer said to The Verge’s Decoder podcast.
Currently, there are no Call Of Duty games on Nintendo Switch. The last mainline title to be released on a Nintendo platform was 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Wii U. A number of installments were also released on the Nintendo DS and Wii, including Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: World At War.