Even as Microsoft is awaiting federal approval to complete its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard and continue to consolidate its presence in the gaming industry, it has signed a deal to bring popular first-person shooter video game Call of Duty to Nintendo for the first time ever.
Should Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard – which was announced this January and is one of the largest acquisitions in the gaming sector – be given the green light, then Call of Duty will arrive to Nintendo’s gaming platforms for a period of ten years. It will also cement Microsoft’s position in the gaming industry and elevate it into the three largest gaming companies in the world. The first two places belong to China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony.
This would mean that Call of Duty will be available to a wider range of gamers – and more gamers mean good business – across PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, which are three of the most popular gaming consoles at this moment.
It may take quite a while for Call of Duty to actually arrive on Nintendo, since the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal is currently under the scanner of regulators in the US, Europe, and other areas.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said that the arrival of Call of Duty to Nintendo will bring the popular video game franchise to “more gamers and platforms,” which is “good for consumers as well as for competition.” He also took a small dig at competitor Sony, saying the Microsoft was “happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well” if the Tokyo-headquartered Sony was willing to “sit down and talk.”
Our acquisition will bring Call of Duty to more gamers and more platforms than ever before. That's good for competition and good for consumers. Thank you @Nintendo. Any day @Sony wants to sit down and talk, we'll be happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well. https://t.co/m1IQxdeo6n
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) December 7, 2022
Sony has been a strong proponent of the dissolution of the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger, stating anti-competitive grounds and its apprehensions that Microsoft would make the Call of Duty series exclusive to the Xbox console. If Microsoft made this move, then the company would gain a huge advantage over Sony’s PlayStation consoles. Microsoft has, several times, assured regulators that it would not remove the Call of Duty series from PlayStation, and that it will continue to remain on the platforms it currently runs on – Xbox, PlayStation and PC.
“Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play,” tweeted Phil Spencer, Xbox head. In a following tweet, he added that Microsoft had “committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam” at the same time as it’s released on Xbox” once the billion-dollar-merger with Activision Blizzard was finally completed.
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