Sony is currently the fiercest resisting force against the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard, with the main point of contention being the Call of Duty franchise. The Xbox parent has proposed a 10-year deal to keep the series on PlayStation consoles, which was rejected. But now, Microsoft has, for whatever reason, extended the same deal to Nintendo, with the latter reportedly accepting.
Xbox head Phil Spencer has announced on Twitter that Microsoft and Nintendo have agreed to said 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty games to the latter’s machines. Naturally, this hinges on the former actually closing the deal on acquiring the games’ publisher, Activision Blizzard. As an additional side note, Spencer also says that games from the franchise will also be available on PC launcher Steam on the same day as Xbox.
I'm also pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on @Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King. @ATVI_AB @ValveSoftware
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 7, 2022
Spencer claims via his tweets that “Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play”. This implies not wanting to lock the series to its own platforms. Which is a bit hypocritical considering that the company has announced just the opposite for its Bethesda acquisition, regardless of its justifications.
It’s also a matter of if Nintendo has the hardware, especially in this generation, to run current Call of Duty titles. Sure, it can run Doom Eternal, but with naturally with dips in performance. The alternative, of which there have been previous examples, is to run the game strictly via the cloud, and that doesn’t usually translate to a great experience, especially with an FPS.
While it’s an interesting development nevertheless, it’s difficult to picture what Microsoft is aiming for by winning over Nintendo, which has been almost a neutral observer to its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and Sony’s resistance to it. For what it’s worth, it may mean an official port of a Call of Duty game on Nintendo hardware in over a decade. The last time that happened was with Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Wii U back in 2013.
(Source: Phil Spencer / Twitter)