call of Duty may be one of the most popular series in the world, but it’s not exactly the kind of game you think of when you picture the Nintendo Switch. So in a way It’s very strange to see Microsoft coming out tonight announce a “10-year commitment” to release cod Play on Nintendo platforms starting with the Switch.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer made the announcement on Twitter, along with an identical pledge to continue cod Also play on Steam:
Microsoft has made a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to bringing more games to more people, no matter what game they choose.
I’m also pleased to confirm that Microsoft is committed to continuing to offer Call of Duty on Steam concurrently with Xbox after we complete the merger with Activision Blizzard King.
Of course, he doesn’t make those promises because there’s a big market for them cod on the Switch, but because his company (Microsoft) is trying to strike a deal to buy the company that owns it call of Duty (Activation)-a deal to come under increasing scrutiny by governments not only in the US but also abroad.
That call of Duty series is a major stumbling block in this deal as various governments point out that locking the popular series behind one platform will create an unfair monopoly in the video game business.
That’s why reports surfaced last week that suggested Microsoft was considering a 10-year deal with Sony, their main console competitors, in an attempt to allay those fears. However, those reports didn’t mention Nintendo’s or Valve’s Steam platform, so today’s announcement is clearly targeting Sony’s arc to isolate them. and force her hand (although it was also easily telegraphed last month).
It’s important to note that these are just promises aimed at greasing some wheels and looking better in the eyes of these skeptical governments. Spencer won’t actually be able to do that to this unless the Activision purchase is made. And even if it does, there will be questions…as Spencer says in this interview with the The Washington Postpromising to bring call of Duty Getting it to the Switch is one thing, getting it to work on Nintendo’s hardware is quite another.
Interestingly, while the Nintendo side of the promise is notable for its odd fit and potential technical issues, Valve’s commitment appears to be far more loose, as Gabe Newell recounts kotaku in a statement:
We’re excited that Microsoft plans to continue using Steam to reach customers using Call of Duty once their acquisition of Activision is complete. Microsoft has been on Steam for a long time and we take it as a sign that they are happy with the reception from players and the work we are doing. Our job is to keep developing valuable features not just for Microsoft, but for all Steam customers and partners.
Microsoft offered and even sent us a draft contract for a long-term Call of Duty commitment, but that wasn’t necessary for us because a) we don’t believe partners need to have an agreement that commits them to shipping games on Steam ties into the distant future b) Phil and the gaming team at Microsoft have always lived up to what they told us so we trust their intentions and c) we believe Microsoft has the motivation they need to to be on the platforms and devices where they will be, where Call of Duty customers want to be.
(call of Duty has been on Steam for a long time totalbut the series has just returned from a five year hiatus behind Activision’s own launcherexactly the kind of restriction that the various governments objecting to the proposed merger are concerned about!)