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Xbox commits to bringing Call of Duty back to Nintendo if Activision Blizzard deal passes
Call of Duty could come to Nintendo Switch after Microsoft agrees 10-year deal
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Call of Duty meets Mario
😮 Microsoft will bring Call of Duty back to Nintendo platforms if it successfully acquires Activision Blizzard
💻 It’s also promised to keep the best-selling franchise on Steam
🐤 Xbox boss Phil Spencer made the announcement on Twitter
🤔 It comes as Microsoft awaits regulatory approval for the billion-dollar deal
Microsoft has committed to bringing the Call of Duty series to Nintendo platforms should its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $69 billion be approved.
Xbox head Phil Spencer made the announcement on Twitter, and followed up with confirmation that the tech company would continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam.
The most recent Call of Duty game to come to a Nintendo platform was Call of Duty: Ghosts, which was released on the Wii U back in 2013. For almost a decade, Nintendo owners haven’t been able to enjoy one of gaming’s biggest franchises.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Spencer confirmed a specific timeframe for Call of Duty’s return hasn’t yet been worked out. Referring to June 2023, the date the merger is expected to close, he said: “You can imagine if [the deal] closed on that date, starting to do development work to make that happen would likely take a little bit of time.
“Once we get into the rhythm of this, our plan would be that when [a Call of Duty game] launches on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, that it would also be available on Nintendo at the same time.”
Despite the Nintendo Switch’s relatively weak hardware in comparison to the PS5, Xbox Series X|S or a gaming PC, Spencer is confident the series could be ported to the handheld console.
“We would do this with Minecraft as well, where we would do specific work to make the game run well on Nintendo Switch and their silicon and support their platform completely,” he said.
"Minecraft and Call of Duty are different games. But from how you get games onto Nintendo, how you run a development team that is targeting multiple platforms, that’s experience we have.”
The announcement comes at a time when Microsoft is trying to shore up support for its Activision Blizzard buyout and convince market regulators to approve the deal. One of the biggest sticking points has been whether Microsoft will make Call of Duty exclusive to its platforms after the deal passes, removing it from other consoles.
Sony has been vocally opposed to the deal, claiming Microsoft’s ownership of Call of Duty would give it an unfair hold over the industry, but Microsoft has repeatedly said it does not intend to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox platforms or remove it from PlayStation wholesale. The company’s president, Brad Smith, has again reiterated that claim on Twitter, saying the acquisition will “bring Call of Duty to more gamers and more platforms than ever before”.
Antitrust regulators are still reviewing the deal, although rumors suggest Microsoft is preparing to offer concessions to have it passed in the EU. The US’s Federal Trade Commission was also expected to block the deal before a fresh rumor hinted the commission is now split on the issue. For its part, Activision Blizzard is confident the deal will successfully close.
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