Microsoft signs 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms

call of duty modern warfare 2, ghost with gun ready in an outdoor setting
Microsoft signs 10-year Call of Duty Nintendo dealActivision Blizzard King

Microsoft has signed a deal to bring Call of Duty back to Nintendo consoles, and has committed to doing so for ten years.

The catch is, the Xbox owner doesn't actually own the rights to the franchise.

The tech giant announced today that it had signed a "binding" contract to release new entries in the juggernaut FPS franchise on Nintendo systems, which hasn't seen a Call of Duty since Ghosts in 2013 on Wii U. Although Microsoft has committed to doing so, it will only happen if their planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard King goes ahead.

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The planned $68.7 billion purchase was announced in January 2022, but is currently experiencing roadblock after roadblock as different countries' competition regulators, including the UK's, have expressed concerns a Microsoft monopoly on the market could be damaging for the industry and consumers.

Although Microsoft has also said Call of Duty will continue to release on PlayStation, Sony has been aggressively pushing back, stating that Microsoft could still find ways to use the franchise to bring customers over to Xbox instead.

The announcement regarding the Nintendo was made hours before an EU hearing regarding the proposed deal.

nintendo switch oled model with pokémon

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The full statement reads: "Microsoft and Nintendo have now negotiated and signed a binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo players – the same day as Xbox, with full feature and content parity – so they can experience Call of Duty just as Xbox and PlayStation games enjoy Call of Duty.

"We are committed to providing long term equal access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms, bringing more choice to more players and more competition to the gaming market."

It doesn't look like we will know for sure if the Activision acquisition will go ahead for a while yet. If it doesn't, it will be interesting to see if Activision decides on its own to start releasing Call of Duty on Nintendo systems again.

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