Microsoft has signed a deal to bring the Activision Blizzard-published Call of Duty franchise to the Nintendo Switch for the first time, the company announced Tuesday night, pending approval of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The deal guarantees that Microsoft, which is awaiting federal approval of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, would make available the popular first-person shooter series on Nintendo Switch for 10 years. It also announced a ten year deal to keep Call of Duty on the PC game store Steam.
In an interview with The Washington Post Tuesday night, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer did not specify the first year a Call of Duty title would be available on the Nintendo Switch.
A future Call of Duty title would likely be the first to arrive on the Switch, though Spencer said the entire existing portfolio would need to be examined to see which games would be brought over to the Switch.
“You can imagine if [the deal] closed on that date, starting to do development work to make that happen would likely take a little bit of time,” Spencer said, referring to the June 2023 date the merger is supposed to close, if it is not blocked by regulators. “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.”