A historic long-term legal agreement between Nintendo and Microsoft has been reached to bring Call of Duty back to Nintendo consoles
Microsoft Vice President and President Brad Smith says a “binding 10-year legal agreement” has been announced between Microsoft and Nintendo, promising to bring the Call of Duty franchise to Nintendo switch players.
According Microsoft’s announcement (opens in a new tab)Call of Duty will be delivered to Nintendo players “on the same day as Xbox, with full feature and content parity – so they can experience Call of Duty the way Xbox and PlayStation players experience it. [the series]. We are committed to providing long-term equal access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms.”
This has huge ramifications for the gaming industry as a whole, as well as Nintendo Switch owners. There hasn’t been a Call of Duty game on a Nintendo console since Call of Duty: Ghosts in 2013. The return of the world-renowned FPS series to Nintendo platforms is a surprise, but not unpleasant.
We have now signed a binding 10-year contract to bring Xbox games to Nintendo gamers. It’s just part of our commitment to bringing Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms. pic.twitter.com/JmO0hzw1BOFebruary 21, 2023
This announcement comes in the shadow of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) impending trial against Microsoft caused by Microsoft’s continued efforts to buy Activision Blizzard – the creators of Call of Duty. The FTC argued that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would create a monopoly within the gaming industry and violate US antitrust laws.
It’s no coincidence that Brad Smith’s announcement ends by stating that “[Microsoft] are committed to providing long-term equal access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms, providing more choices for more players and more competition in the gaming marketplace. It is clear that the gaming giant is trying to counter the idea that it is cultivating a monopoly within the industry.
It remains to be seen whether or not this decision will be enough to satisfy the FTC. However, what is clear is that this agreement has important ramifications for consumers.
Although the ad only mentions Call of Duty by name, the Tweet mentions a “commitment to bringing Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms” – that’s securities plural. While we don’t know the exact scope and ambition of this commitment, it’s exciting to think that more Activision titles could make the rounds for the Nintendo Switch.
The implications of the deal are still unknown, but could significantly shape the landscape of the industry. In the short term, we have to wonder what Call of Duty would look like on Nintendo Switch. Will it be limited to one Call of Duty Warzone port, or more technical titles like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 are also found on Switch to some extent? Although it is too early to say for sure what exactly the promised 10 years of cooperation will bring, I hope it will lead to more choice and agency for consumers. One thing is certain, however: these are interesting times.