Microsoft reaches ‘Call of Duty’ deal with Nintendo amid standoff with Sony over Activision acquisition
Microsoft says it has reached a 10-year deal with Nintendo to bring “Call of Duty” games to Nintendo systems if Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through.
In addition, Microsoft pledged to continue releasing “Call of Duty” on Valve’s Steam PC game platform at the same time as it releases future installments of the blockbuster first-person shooter franchise for Xbox.
The Nintendo agreement and Steam commitment are part of Microsoft’s effort to avoid a potential FTC lawsuit over its proposed Activision acquisition.
In opposing to the acquisition, PlayStation maker Sony has expressed concern that Microsoft might make future “Call of Duty” games and other big Activision titles exclusive to Microsoft Xbox.
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 bring more games to more people – however they choose to play. @ATVI_AB
Earlier this week, Microsoft President Brad Smith said the company had offered Sony a 10-year deal for equitable “Call of Duty” distribution on PlayStation. Sony has previously called Microsoft’s offers “inadequate on many levels.”
Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming CEO, told the Washington Post that the agreement with Nintendo and the commitment to Steam show that Microsoft is acting in good faith. He called it “an important point to have out in the market.”
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Smith and other Microsoft executives are meeting Wednesday with FTC Chair Lina Khan and other FTC commissioners, seeking to persuade them to let the deal go ahead.
“Call of Duty” is not available for Nintendo Switch. Versions of the game were made for the Switch’s predecessor, the Nintendo Wii U.
Spencer told the Post that any release of “Call of Duty” for Nintendo “would likely take a little bit of time” following the targeted June 2023 closing date of the Activision acquisition, but added that the ultimate goal is to make new games in the franchise available on Nintendo systems at the same time as on Xbox and other platforms.