Microsoft and Nintendo have struck a deal to bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch once the Activision-Blizzard merger closes. While no redebut date has been set, it will be the beloved franchise’s first appearance on a Nintendo device in a decade.
The draw of Call of Duty is undeniable. It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, console franchise in history, with millions upon millions buying each new release every year from when it first debuted in 2003.
The games weren’t originally on Nintendo devices. At first, only PC, PlayStation, and Xbox players could join in on the shooter fun. But Call of Duty 4 back in 2007 opened the doors to the Nintendo DS and Wii for the first time, and started a string of releases across all the big names.
However, that all collapsed after Call of Duty: Ghosts released in 2013 on the Wii U, as Nintendo’s latest creation at that time struggled.
With the booming success of the Nintendo Switch, there’s long been calls for a port back onto the beloved manufacturer’s devices. And now, with Activision Blizzard’s upcoming merger with Microsoft on its way, those dreams have been realized.
“Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer announced on December 7.
“Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play.”
It comes after there was debate over whether Microsoft would transform some of console gaming’s biggest titles, like Call of Duty, into Xbox exclusives over the $69 billion deal. Instead the opposite has happened with doors being flung wide open.
Spencer’s announcement also confirmed “Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard.”
As for Sony and PlayStation? The deal is on the table: “Any day Sony wants to sit down and talk, we’ll be happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said.
With 2022’s Modern Warfare II out the door, it’s unlikely a port will be coming to the Nintendo Switch quickly. Activision Blizzard’s merger with Microsoft is expected to be completed in Spring 2023, around the timing of the next release.
The 10-year commitment between Nintendo and Microsoft could also lead to bigger things beyond Call of Duty as the tech giant potentially looks to revamp the famed studio amid the merger.