The legal drama that is the Microsoft-Activision merger is entering a fever pitch as we approach the Spring 2023 deadline to approve the deal. Sony has been putting up a fight, citing the potential loss of Call of Duty on PlayStation, but Microsoft has invoked an unexpected but not too surprising name – Nintendo.
As confirmed by Phil Spencer, Microsoft has entered a ten year commitment to bring Call of Duty “to Nintendo”. Given the timeframe, the vagueness is likely to ensure the games continue to hit Nintendo platforms after the Switch.
Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to @Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play. @ATVI_AB
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 7, 2022
It is also confirmed that Microsoft will continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam after the merger is closed.
Call of Duty is no stranger to Nintendo platforms – ambitious ports of various PS3/360 entries made it to the Wii and DS – but during the Wii U era they began to drop off.
The goal of this decision is presumably to assure global trade commissions that Microsoft won’t lock Activision Blizzard King games to Xbox and its own PC stores, but what that means for PlayStation remains uncertain.