Microsoft has announced a 10-year agreement that will see Call of Duty games launch on Nintendo consoles on “the same day as Xbox”.
The contract was announced this morning on Twitter by Microsoft president Brad Smith. The tweet’s text gives the impression that the deal would cover a much wider remit, stating that the two companies have “signed a binding 10-year contract to bring Xbox games to Nintendo’s gamers.”
However, the accompanying statement only mentions the Call of Duty franchise specifically. It’s not clear when the deal would come into effect, either. A new Call of Duty title is on the way later in 2023, but it seems unlikely that it would fall under the timeframe of such an offer.
What the partnership does promise is “full feature and content parity” for the Nintendo versions during that ten-year window. Whether Nintendo platforms like the Switch will get their own version of the game or a cloud-streamed edition remains to be seen. A replacement console to the Nintendo Switch is expected in 2024 and beyond, which could coincide with the starting point of such a deal
We’ve now signed a binding 10-year contract to bring Xbox games to Nintendo’s gamers. This is just part of our commitment to bring Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms. pic.twitter.com/JmO0hzw1BO— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) February 21, 2023
Here’s the statement in full:
“Microsoft and Nintendo have now 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 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.”
The announced partnership is also, naturally, contingent on Microsoft’s plans to acquire Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard. That enormous deal has run into potential setbacks with the EU’s European Commission and UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
Microsoft will be arguing its case for the purchase in a meeting with the EU later today. Today’s announcement with Nintendo is no doubt related to the company’s attempts to get the deal through. It’s expected that further remedial steps will be required for the acquisition to circumnavigate anti-competition concerns within the region.