Microsoft & Nintendo sign Call of Duty deal prior to Activision merger completion

activision blizzard microsoft call of duty nintendo deal

Microsoft to face European Commission today

Microsoft has announced that it has signed a new deal with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty titles to the latter’s platforms for the next decade. The deal, announced on Twitter by no less than MS president Brad Smith, is said to be part of a new endeavor by the company to see Xbox titles ported to Nintendo Switch and future platforms.

The new signing — super-duper coincidentally — has been announced on the same day that Microsoft is to appear at a hearing with the European Commission, combatting concerns that the publisher’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard raises antitrust concerns. Of course, Activision Blizzard is the publisher of the billion-dollar Call of Duty franchise, and thus Microsoft has signed its “legally binding” 10-year deal pertaining a franchise that it is yet to actually own.

“Microsoft and Nintendo have now negotiated and signed a binding ten-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 enjoy Call of Duty,” wrote Smith on Twitter.

“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,” added Smith. “This is just part of our commitment to bring Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms.”

The $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft remains a long way away from completion. Microsoft has to first face down a lawsuit from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scheduled to take place this summer, as well as win the favor of the European Commission and other global bodies. In some of these cases, the losing party is able to appeal the outcome, which would suggest that the deal’s closure — win or lose — could still be a year away at the very least.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse