Microsoft makes its 10-year Call of Duty pact with Nintendo official
Late last year, Microsoft announced that it was "committed" to bringing Call of Duty (CoD) to Nintendo for 10 years if its Activision Blizzard acquisition was approved. Now, president Brad Smith has tweeted that the "binding" 10-year contract has been signed, and confirmed that Nintendo would get the same access to CoD as Xbox. Smith indicated that Microsoft will bring other Xbox games to Nintendo platforms as part of the agreement.
"Microsoft and Nintendo have now negotiated and signed a binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo players — the same days as Xbox, with full feature and content parity," Microsoft wrote in a statement. "We are committed to providing long term equal access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms."
Microsoft previously said that it offered Sony a similar deal for PlayStation consoles, and committed to offer the game on Steam at the same time as Xbox — provided the merger goes through, of course.
The deals are all part of Microsoft's efforts to convince regulators allow its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard to proceed. The deal is strongly in limbo right now, as the US Federal Trade Commission has sued to block the takeover, and the UK may require Activision to divest parts of its business for the merger to proceed.
On top of that, the European Union is reportedly set to join the UK in declaring that the proposed acquisition could reduce competition. To that end, Microsoft reportedly requested a hearing with EU regulators to defend the deal — and that meeting is set for today, according to Reuters.
The acquisition ran afoul of regulators from the start over concerns that it would cut off Sony's PS5 and other consoles from key games, particularly CoD. Sony vehemently opposes the deal, having called it a "game-changer that poses a threat to our industry." Microsoft has said that Sony's comments were "self-serving" and promised to support Call of Duty on PlayStation "forever."