Microsoft Signs 10-Year Deal to Bring Call of Duty to Nintendo Platforms

Microsoft has signed a “binding 10-year contract” which officially confirms its long-term commitment to bringing the Call of Duty franchise to Nintendo platforms.

The deal follows plans announced in December last year. Microsoft president Brad Smith shared the news on Twitter today, confirming that Microsoft has entered a legal agreement with Nintendo.

According to the statement released by Microsoft, the deal will see a “binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo players – the same day as Xbox”. 

Perhaps even more important for owners of Nintendo systems is that Microsoft is promising “full feature and content parity” for same-day releases. That would see the same version of future Call of Duty titles launch on Nintendo platforms as on PlayStation and Xbox, rather than an alternate version as has been the case in the past.

It isn’t clear when this deal will come into effect. It’s also possible that the agreement could see Nintendo consoles receive a cloud version of upcoming Call of Duty titles to ensure parity can be maintained easily across consoles of differing power. It’s unlikely, however, that the announcement will include this year’s 2023 Call of Duty release.

The lengthy contract is, of course, dependent on the company’s planned purchase of Activision Blizzard, the owner of the Call of Duty franchise. That seismic deal has hit a few road bumps since its announcement, with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority describing the deal as “to the detriment of gamers” and even major tech companies like Google and Nvidia reportedly showing concern.

Microsoft is set to argue its case in front of the EU in a closed-doors meeting today. This announcement is almost certainly aimed at assuaging concerns over the diminishment of competition between leading gaming companies. Further concessions are expected in order to ensure the deal passes anti-competition constraints within different world regions.

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