Microsoft Corp. said late Tuesday it has made a “10-year commitment” to bring the massively popular “Call of Duty” videogame series to Nintendo Co. consoles, when — and if — its merger with Activision Blizzard Inc. is completed.
In a tweet late Tuesday night, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced the deal. “Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play,” he said, adding: “I’m also pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on @Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King.”
Microsoft is awaiting federal approval of its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision.
A deal to share one of Activision’s
most lucrative videogame titles could appease some antitrust concerns from regulators. Spencer told Bloomberg News that a similar offer had been extended to rival Sony Corp.
for its PlayStation consoles, but said that offer had so far been rebuffed.
A “Call of Duty” title has not been available on Nintendo since 2013.
In an interview with the Washington Post published Tuesday, Spencer said there was no Nintendo “Call of Duty” release date set yet, but that if the merger closes — it has a June 2023 target date — future “Call of Duty” games would be released for all platforms at once. “Once we get into the rhythm of this, our plan would be that when [a Call of Duty game] launches on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, that it would also be available on Nintendo at the same time,” he told the Post.
rose slightly in Tokyo trading following the news. Microsoft shares
fell Monday, and are down 17% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s
17% decline this year.