Phil Spencer took to Twitter Tuesday night to announce that Call of Duty is coming to Nintendo Switch. It will also stay on Steam after the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
“Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King,” the head of Xbox tweeted. “Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play.”
Regarding Steam, he added, “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.”
It seems like this is not necessarily a win for Nintendo and Steam gamers but also a fired shot in the direction of Sony and the FTC. They are the two stumbling blocks to approving the Microsoft merger with Activision Blizzard King. Spencer keeps saying he’s optimistic the deal will be approved, but make no mistake. This is a move to ensure that approval becomes more likely.
Sony Isn’t Happy With Microsofts Offer to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation
One potential holdup with Microsoft’s attempted purchase of Activision Blizzard is Call of Duty. Originally, Microsoft offered Sony a three year agreement to ensure the series releases on PlayStation in the future. Jim Ryan, PlayStation CEO, said that the offer was “inadequate on many levels.”
“Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends,” Ryan recently said. “After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”
Microsoft pushed back against Ryan’s comments. The same 10-year deal just announced with Nintendo and Steam is reportedly on the table for Sony, too.
“It’s not about at some point I pull the rug underneath PlayStation 7’s legs, and it’s ‘ahaha you just didn’t write the contract long enough,'” said Spencer. “There’s no contract that could be written that says forever.”
“As long as there’s a PlayStation, we’ll ship Call of Duty there.”
The Brazilian government recently polled several big-name publishers on Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Sony expressed concerns and told the Brazilian government that no developer could develop a franchise rivaling Call of Duty. Other publishers didn’t share those same issues, stating that they could either develop their own franchise on par with Call of Duty, or that Sony already has capable alternatives in-house.
Why Does Microsoft Want to Acquire Activision Blizzard King?
Microsoft and the Xbox brand are currently lacking in mobile offerings and what’s available in the Chinese market. That’s the value Activision Blizzard King brings to the company.
Recently, the agreement between Blizzard and NetEase to support Blizzard titles in mainland China ended. After the new year, online services for Blizzard games like World of Warcraft will shut down. Given that NetEase blames a “jerk at Activision” for the agreement’s end, a last-second deal doesn’t seem too likely. Microsoft has the potential to step in and resume agreements with NetEase.
With the King brand, Microsoft would also gain access to an impressive backlog of mobile titles and revenue streams.
The most recent Call of Duty, Modern Warfare II, was released on October 27th for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC platforms. We reviewed both the single-player and multiplayer game modes. Warzone 2.0, the popular Battle Royale mode for Call of Duty, was also recently launched alongside the new DMZ game mode. We reviewed those as well.
It’s been nearly a decade since the franchise was seen on a Nintendo platform. The last Call of Duty game released on a Nintendo platform was 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, released on the Wii U.