To help push its Activision buy out through, Microsoft has entered an agreement to release future Call Of Duty games on Nintendo Switch.
The main point of contention surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard remains the Call Of Duty franchise and the idea of it potentially becoming exclusive to the Xbox platform.
Both Sony and some regulators believe doing so would give Microsoft an unfair advantage, considering how popular the series is. So, Microsoft has repeatedly tried to assure them that it has every intention of keeping it available on PlayStation.
Recently, it was reported that Microsoft plans to formally commit to releasing Call Of Duty games on PlayStation for another 10 years, and now it’s publicly made the same promise for the Nintendo Switch.
The idea of bringing the series to Nintendo’s platform was always on the cards, with Microsoft expressing interest not long after it announced the Activision buy out.
It’s not something that’s been discussed since, but the topic has come back up now as Microsoft attempt to curry favour with regulators and push the Activision deal through.
‘Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call Of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King,’ tweeted Xbox boss Phil Spencer in the early hours of the morning.
‘Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play.’
He added that the series will release on Steam simultaneously with the Xbox versions. Basically, Spencer is insisting that, if anything, the Call Of Duty games will become more widely available under Microsoft.
Microsoft president Brad Smith also commented on the offer, reiterating the company’s statement of how the deal will benefit everyone, not just Microsoft.
‘Any day Sony wants to sit down and talk, we’ll be happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well,’ he added.
Nobody, including Nintendo, is likely to be all that interested in having Call Of Duty on the Switch, but the offer is all part of Microsoft’s attempt to make the acquisition seem as benign as possible.
While there have been some Call Of Duty titles that released for Nintendo platforms, Activision and Nintendo seemed to give up on the idea after 2013’s Call Of Duty: Ghosts, with all subsequent games sticking to PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
However, the commitment could prove important for Nintendo’s next console, after the Switch, assuming it’s significantly more powerful.
For as much money as the Call Of Duty franchise makes, the Switch has performed extremely well without it. As of August, it became the fifth best-selling console of all time and is expected to eventually overtake the original Game Boy and the PlayStation 4.
Even with Microsoft’s offer, it remains unclear if regulators will let the deal through. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is still conducting its second investigation and while it’s been reported that the US Federal Trade Commission will approve the acquisition, it’s yet to make a formal statement.
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