Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer announced on Tuesday night that the company has signed a deal to bring Activision-Blizzard's Call of Duty franchise to Nintendo following its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Under the deal, Microsoft would make the popular first-person shooter series available on Nintendo devices for 10 years.
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— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 7, 2022
The Xbox chief earlier said in an interview with The Washington Post that the company intends to treat Call of Duty like Minecraft. "We would do this with Minecraft as well, where we would do specific work to make the game run well on Nintendo Switch and their silicon and support their platform completely," Spencer said. "We do the same when we ship on PlayStation 5."
In another tweet, Spencer also said that Redmond is committed to continuing to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox after the merger with Activision Blizzard is closed.
This development comes as regulators around the world continue examining Microsoft's planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly concerned that the purchase would give Microsoft an unfair advantage and that it would reduce competition in the market. A Politico report even claimed that the commission will likely file an antitrust lawsuit to block it this month. Sony has also expressed its concerns about the acquisition as it believes Microsoft’s ownership of a famous title like Call of Duty would harm competition.
Microsoft's Brad Smith defended the acquisition in an opinion piece by saying that it's good for gamers. "Blocking our acquisition would make the gaming industry less competitive and gamers worse off," he stated. "Think about how much better it is to stream a movie from your couch than drive to Blockbuster. We want to bring the same sort of innovation to the video game industry".
In line with Spencer's announcement, Smith also claimed that the merger will bring Call of Duty to more gamers and more platforms than ever before. "Any day Sony wants to sit down and talk, we'll be happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well," he said.
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