Microsoft and Nintendo sign 10-year Call of Duty deal
Microsoft and Nintendo have signed a deal that will bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms for the next 10 years.
The deal will guaranteed Call of Duty titles coming to Nintendo consoles on the same day as Microsoft Xbox consoles for the foreseeable future, assuming that Microsoft closes its $68.7bn deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.
That, of course, is the key detail here, and is almost certainly the main reason behind this announcement. Sony is looking to thwart a deal that would see one of the biggest third party franchises (Call of Duty) falling under the banner of its main console rival.
Sony’s main argument is that this would be an anticompetitive move, and would unfairly inhibit its own console business. Microsoft’s counter to this is that it would still allow Call of Duty to be released on other platforms, and this Nintendo deal is clearly intended to prove that point.
Indeed, Microsoft has previously offered Sony the very same 10-year guarantee that it just offered Nintendo – an offer that Sony rejected out of hand.
Microsoft’s Nintendo announcement is clearly timed with this ongoing dispute in mind. It comes just ahead of Microsoft’s date with the European Commission, which is one of several major regulators standing in the way of the Activision Blizzard deal.
The thought of a game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and its sprawling Warzone 2 spin-off running on the humble Nintendo Switch leaves us wincing slightly. However, there’s no indication of when this deal might kick off, and with rumours that a more capable Nintendo Switch 2 is just around the corner, we can start salivating over the prospect.
In separate but related news, Microsoft has announced that it is bringing Xbox PC games, as well as all Activision Blizzard titles, to the Nvidia GeForce Now cloud streaming service. In return, Nvidia has publicly stated that the move “resolves Nvidia’s concerns with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard”. Funny, that.