Ahead of its pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has announced a 10-year commitment that will see Call of Duty games released again on Nintendo platforms. The deal was announced in a tweet by Phil Spencer, who added that Call of Duty games will also continue to be offered for PC players on Steam simultaneously with Xbox.
Microsoft has made a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to @Nintendo after the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people, however they choose to play. @ATVI_AB
—Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 7, 2022
Spencer’s tweet is light on details, though the Xbox head did elaborate on some details in an interview with the washington post, saying that the entire Call of Duty portfolio will be evaluated for a potential Switch release. He suggested that it could be some time before we see the first Call of Duty title on Switch, and that development can only begin after the merger deal closes, which is scheduled for June 2023 if approved by regulators. .
“Once we get into the swing of this, our plan would be that when [a Call of Duty game] releases on PlayStation, Xbox and PC, which would also be available on Nintendo at the same time,” Spencer added.
When asked if it would be difficult to port Call of Duty titles to Switch, Spencer pointed to Microsoft’s experience with shipping Minecraft on the handheld. “Minecraft and Call of Duty are different games,” she added, “but from how you bring the games to Nintendo, how you run a development team that’s targeting multiple platforms, that’s the experience we have.”
While the current agreement with Nintendo covers a 10-year period, Spencer says it’s likely Microsoft will continue to work with the company beyond this period. “It’s just a matter of choosing an expiration date, not with the goal of ever expiring, but the legalese of a document has to say that this passes by some date,” he clarified.
Microsoft still has some regulatory hurdles to clear before the FTC approves its merger with Activision Blizzard, though it has it has already been deleted in other regions. Its competitor Sony has raised the potential for Call of Duty to go exclusive as a reason why the merger should not be approved, however, the company has not agreed a deal that would keep the franchise on PlayStation for 10 years. “We just haven’t been able to make progress with Sony,” Spencer said. the washington post when asked about this deal.
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