Microsoft Signs 10-Year Deal To Bring Call Of Duty To Nintendo Platforms
Just in time for Microsoft's European Commission hearing on the Activision Blizzard deal this week.
Microsoft has formalized its 10-year deal with Nintendo, which will see Call of Duty launched on the Japanese company's platforms on "the same day" as Xbox. According to Microsoft, these Call of Duty games will be available with "full feature and content parity" on Nintendo systems, if its deal to acquire Activision Blizzard is approved.
"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," Microsoft said in a statement, that was tweeted by company president Brad Smith.
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
A 10-year deal has been one of Microsoft's main talking points of the pending acquisition, as regulators across the globe have discussed the impact that this deal will have on Xbox rivals PlayStation and Nintendo. Microsoft had previously mentioned a decade-long commitment to keeping Call of Duty on other platforms as a means to alleviate anti-competitive fears, extending the offer to PlayStation, but this has done little to calm concerns from regulator bodies.
This new legally binding deal does come at a crucial time for Microsoft, as it'll be appearing in the European Commission court to defend itself against antitrust allegations this week. One of the three major regulator bodies that Microsoft needs approval from for the acquisition, Microsoft's official commitment to bring "Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms" is seen as a remedy to these concerns, as Call of Duty being owned by the company has been a significant point of focus for regulators.
Meanwhile in the UK, the regulators overseeing the deal that side have proposed that Microsoft drops Activision and the Call of Duty series from its acquisition plan. Back in the US, the FTC has sued Microsoft in an attempt to block the deal, and the case is pending. The EU body is expected to make its final decision in April.