The long-awaited agreement, feared at the end of last year, which had made fans hope, is now a reality: Microsoft will bring Call of Duty to Nintendo consoles (then Nintendo Switch and its successors) for 10 years. Not only that: the game will have the same content and features as the Xbox versions.
“Microsoft and Nintendo have now negotiated and signed a 10-year binding legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo gamers, same days as Xbox, with full functionality and content parity,” Microsoft wrote in a note. “We are committed to providing equal long-term access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms.”
We’ve now signed a binding 10-year contract to bring Xbox games to Nintendo’s gamers. This is just part of our commitment to bring Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms. pic.twitter.com/JmO0hzw1BO
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) February 21, 2023
Call of Duty on Nintendo consoles? There is still one obstacle
However, there is a huge “but”, which casts uncertainty on the whole agreement. This in fact, it would be void if the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft were definitively blocked. Activision, as we know, is the developer and publisher of the Call of Duty franchise. The company was formally acquired by Microsoft last year, but the deal is currently being investigated by US anti-competitive authorities (read the full story here). If therefore the acquisition of Activision Blizzard were blocked, Microsoft would not have the right to manage the publishing of video games and the agreement with Nintendo would be void.
Last year, Microsoft offered Steam and Sony similar deals. The PC gaming platform claimed that there was no need to put any agreement on paper, while Sony took a clear position accusing Microsoft of anti-competitive practices.