Back in early December, Phil Spencer announced that Microsoft and Nintendo had agreed to a 10 year promise to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms following its planned Activision buyout. While that acquisition is facing some major roadblocks, Microsoft President Brad Smith has announced that the two companies have now signed a binding 10 year legal agreement for the commitment:
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
The promise of full feature and content parity is quite notable considering the Nintendo Switch’s lack of performance power compared to the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. And it’s unlikely that whatever succeeds the console will compare to those two either. Of course, feature and content parity isn’t the same as performance parity, so presumably the companies are well aware the series won’t run super well on Nintendo’s hardware — or at least at the level of other generational consoles. It might also be a cloud version of the titles if they can’t run natively on Nintendo hardware.
The possibility of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition falling through still looms, in which case the agreement would presumably fall null and void. The fact that it’s been signed “prematurely” is actually a maneuver to get regulators to accept the buyout, attempting to assure them that Microsoft isn’t going to, like, monopolize COD or anything. Will it work? We’ll have to wait and see.
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