Microsoft announces 10-year commitment to Call of Duty on Switch (and Steam)

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer shared an important announcement on Twitter early this morning. He revealed that the company has struck a 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch.

Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping make more games available to more people – however they choose to play.

The last franchise installment to hit Nintendo’s platform was Call of Duty: Ghosts in 2013, which launched on WiiU. No Call of Duty game has been released for the Nintendo Switch in its seven years.

This is clearly a move by Microsoft in an effort to allay regulators’ concerns and back Sony, the company most hostile when it comes to the $69 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, into a corner. Microsoft has already announced that it has offered the same 10-year deal to Sony but apparently hasn’t received a response yet.

Yesterday, Vice President and President Brad Smith also published a brief article in the Wall Street Journal, claiming that Microsoft is trying to innovate in the gaming space like Netflix has done against the likes of Blockbuster. The reference is obviously to Game Pass, which includes both cloud streaming and a subscription business model. In fact, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said outright that he wants Game Pass to become the Netflix for gaming.

It will be interesting to see if the Nintendo Switch version of Call of Duty will be native on the platform or cloud-based to try and separate it from its hardware limitations. The much-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro is also likely to launch next year, in which case the Call of Duty port could benefit from the new hardware. Finally, we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of porting the mobile version of Call of Duty instead of the console/PC.

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Speaking of PC, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer too committed Keeping Call of Duty on Steam for another ten years, minimum.

I’m also pleased to confirm Microsoft’s commitment to continuing to deliver Call of Duty on
Steam simultaneously on Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King.

Not that there are many doubts since Microsoft decided to return to Steam a while ago with all its games. In recent Call of Duty news, the contents of Modern Warfare II Season 2 and Warzone 2.0 have been leaked.

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