Microsoft Xbox boss announces commitments to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch and keep the series on Steam


Last week insider reports said that Microsoft was willing to enter into a 10-year commitment with Sony that would ensure access to the Call of Duty IP. Yesterday, Xbox head Phil Spencer suddenly announced on Twitter that a similar 10-year agreement was made between Microsoft and Nintendo, ensuring the shooter series will be available to the Nintendo Switch after the buyout of Activision-Blizzard completes.

Spencer also noted in a follow-up tweet that Microsoft is “committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox after [it has] closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King.” Readers will note here that the COD series has only just recently returned to the platform with this year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II – the last Steam launch of the series before then was 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII, after which PC versions were walled up behind

This announcement might strike as a random one, but a subtweet from Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith pretty much outlines the company’s intent: to enter in to a sort of PR staring contest and see whether Sony will blink and agree to a similar deal. “Any day Sony wants to sit down and talk, we’ll be happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well,” reads part of his tweet.

It’s important to note here that these IP agreements are likely less about giving the COD franchise to all so much as greasing the wheels of bureaucracy: Sony’s access to the COD series is at the heart of antitrust and anti-competition concerns held by UK and US regulatory bodies.

source: Twitter (1, 2) via Kotaku
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