Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently being scrutinized by regulatory bodies over the world, with the likes of the FTC, the CMA, and the European Commission having expressed concerns over how the deal could impact competition if it were to be approved. Microsoft has, of course, has tried to allay any concerns over potential exclusivity of Call of Duty games in the future, and with the company set to defend its acquisition of Activision to the EU later today, it has taken another major step on that front.
In December, Microsoft announced that it was committing to bring Call of Duty games to Steam and Nintendo platforms for at least the next ten years, and now, the company has signed a legally binding agreement to the same effect. The same was confirmed by Microsoft president Brad Smith recently on Twitter, who revealed that “full feature and content parity” for all future Call of Duty games on Nintendo platforms are also part of the binding agreement.
“Microsoft and Nintendo have now negotiated and signed a binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo players – the same day as Xbox, with full feature and content parity – so they can experience Call of Duty just as Xbox and PlayStation gamers enjoy Call of Duty,” the statement reads. “We are committed to providing long term equal access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms, bringing more choice to more players and more competition to the gaming market.”
Presumably, this is something that will come into effect once the Microsoft-Activision deal goes through.
It’s worth noting, of course, that support for Call of Duty on the Nintendo Switch has been nonexistent, with not a single game from the franchise having released on the hybrid platform. The Switch specifically is not named in the statement shared by Smith, and given the length of time it covers, one would assume that it primarily refers to the Switch successor, whenever that ends up launching.
Microsoft previously confirmed that a similar offer is also on the table for PlayStation, but Sony has yet to sign it.
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