Call of Duty will be available on Switch and Steam for 10 years thanks to a new agreement between Microsoft, Nintendo and Valve. This comes in Microsoft’s big efforts to officially acquire Activision-Blizzard and gain the authorities’ trust. Microsoft wants to reassure the authorities about Call of Duty moving forward with extremely specific arrangements.
Microsoft is looking for its interests
It’s now the turn of Phil Spencer – the head of Microsoft Gaming. Given that the takeover’s scope now lay at the managerial level of Microsoft. The head of Microsoft Gaming had somewhat withdrawn from the conversation.
He announced the signing of a significant contract with Valve and Nintendo on Twitter. The two contracts differ if you carefully read the words of the tweets.
It is a matter of bringing the Call of Duty license to Nintendo platforms for a period of ten years. Of course, the Switch comes to mind. But considering how much time has passed, we also need to consider the upcoming console. In contrast, Phil Spencer suggests in the second tweet that Xbox is dedicated to publishing Call of Duty games concurrently on Xbox and Steam.
Of course, none of this will occur unless Microsoft successfully acquired Activision-Blizzard, and as a result, only if the relevant authorities approve the operation.
Call of Duty for the Nintendo Switch
So, we understand that there may not be a simultaneous release of Nintendo games with Xbox and Steam. Microsoft doesn’t even promise to release the same Call of Duty titles on Xbox One as it does on other platforms in this tweet.
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Obviously, the contract that was signed with Nintendo contains more information than the summary that Phil Spencer provided in a tweet. But it’s also a public commitment, and every word counts. In a similar way, if it commits to selling Call of Duty to Nintendo for ten years, it does not commit to selling every release.
For instance, the agreement would be met by launching Call of Duty Mobile on Nintendo Switch. And keeping it updated for the following ten years. If we see the main episodes coming to Switch, the cloud might make that possible. This approach is becoming more and more popular for the Switch edition of cross platform titles.
This compromise is crucial for Microsoft in order to win the authorities’ approval, in our opinion. In reality, Microsoft has frequently compared Call of Duty and Minecraft in its tactics since the start of the takeover effort.
A win-win situation for the IT giant: while pushing its Game Pass on its own platforms, it is significantly increasing its revenue thanks to the expected success on Switch. This deal compelled it to find a new source of cash in order to buy a flagship license.
What about Call of Duty on the PlayStation?
This arrangement with Nintendo and Valve is primarily a tactic move to put pressure on Sony. The possibility of Call of Duty becoming an Xbox exclusive. Which would turn the PlayStation gaming platform upside down, can no longer be publicly feared by the PlayStation producer. Microsoft intends for this reversal to portray Sony as the industry’s weak player. To maintain its position, Sony would reject the takeover.
“From our perspective, it’s clear that they’re spending more time with the regulators than with us trying to get this deal done”. In a conversation with Bloomberg, Phil Spencer discusses PlayStation in greater detail and without hesitance. Microsoft provided the same proposition to Sony, as has been publicly numerous times. However, the upcoming days will for sure reveal more details in this regard, so keep tuned for more.