While Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is still ongoing and yet to be approved, Microsoft is not holding back from any commitments. CEO Phil Spencer has announced via Twitter that Microsoft has entered into a ten-year commitment with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty games to its platforms following the merger with Activision Blizzard.
Spencer also added that the games will still be available on Steam and Xbox, with his initial tweet declaring, “Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people - however they choose to play.”
This is all Spencer shared on Twitter, but he went into more detail regarding the announcement in a recent interview with The Washington Post. In the interview, Spencer is reported to have said that, “the entire portfolio would still have to be looked at to see which titles make it over to the Switch. There’s no set date yet for when Call of Duty would first arrive on Switch.”
I'm also pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on @Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King. @ATVI_AB @ValveSoftware— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 7, 2022
In reference to the date that the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard is meant to close, June 2023, Spencer said, “You can imagine if [the deal] closed on that date, starting to do development work to make that happen would likely take a little bit of time.” The plan is that eventually, when a Call of Duty game launches for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, it’ll also launch simultaneously for Switch.
Spencer was also asked if it would be hard work porting Call of Duty titles to the Switch, to which he brought up Minecraft and Microsoft’s experience getting that onto Nintendo’s handheld. “Minecraft and Call of Duty are different games. But from how you get games onto Nintendo, how you run a development team that is targeting multiple platforms, that’s experience we have,” Spencer explains.
While the deal that Spencer has announced is a ten-year commitment, he also said that Microsoft would likely work with Nintendo beyond this time. With that in mind, however, Microsoft still has a few hurdles ahead of it to discuss with the Federal Trade Commission before development can begin.