Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith announced Tuesday that the company has finalized a 10-year agreement with Switch console and game maker Nintendo to ensure that all future Call of Duty releases will get same-day releases on current and future consoles. Of course, if regulators in Europe and the U.S. decide not to approve the $69B USD acquisition of Activision Blizzard, then this new agreement would become invalidated as Microsoft would not have control of Call of Duty.
Smith made the announcement in a statement posted on social media:
“Microsoft and Nintendo negotiated and signed a binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo players – the same day as Xbox, with full feature and content parity – so they can experience Call of Duty just as Xbox and PlayStation gamers can enjoy Call of Duty. We are committed to providing long-term equal access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms, bringing more choice to more players, and more competition to the gaming market.”
Tuesday’s news follows an announcement in January by Microsoft that it had entered into negotiations (separately) with Nintendo and PC gaming platform Steam to hammer out a 10-year commitment to insure that Call of Duty would appear on these platforms over the next decade. Interestingly, Microsoft specifically mentioned PlayStation in its announcement, though Sony has not publicly stated its position on the matter. Last week The Esports Advocate reported that there is ample evidence that Sony has met with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard following the CMA’s preliminary judgment opposing the merger earlier this month.
Some see this latest announcement as an overture to Sony and Microsoft’s way of showing regulators in the United States, European Union, and the United Kingdom that it is committed to continue sharing Activision Blizzard’s biggest game with other platforms should the merger be approved.