The confirmation comes amid a rather heated process in which multiple regulators from the US, UK and European Union are fiercely scrutinizing the merger between Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard over strong objections from Sony. There was even talk of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) even filing a lawsuit against the whole thing, but recent chatter indicates that things could swing back in Microsoft’s favor.
So why is this so important to Nintendo gamers? Well, the last Call of Duty game to hit a Nintendo platform was 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Wii U; almost ten years ago. Think about the sheer number of Call of Duty titles we’ve seen since then – there’s a total of them nine main games since Ghosts, including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Call of Duty: WWII, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Assuming Activision-Blizzard continues with the current schedule of one Call of Duty game per year, it’s probably a safe bet that Nintendo platforms will accumulate about ten Call of Duty games over the course of the company’s ten-year deal with Microsoft.
Of course, that’s assuming there will be some kind of parity between platforms. As it stands, there’s little chance of modern Call of Duty games running on the Switch without some serious compromises to visual fidelity and performance. There’s always the possibility of future games ending up on Nintendo platforms as cloud versions – something we personally wouldn’t be thrilled about – and we’re ruling out the possibility of spin-off titles like Call of Duty 2: Big Red One and Call of Duty. Duty: Roads to Victory. In the event that the latter happens, we’re willing to bet that a spin-off will probably see the light of day once every two years.
However, our gut tells us that Microsoft is probably aware – anyway some degree – of Nintendo’s future hardware plans and is likely willing to bring its mainline titles with all the trimmings to the Switch’s successor. After all, the Microsoft-Activision-Blizzard merger probably won’t be finalized for a while (if at all), so we probably won’t see anything happen for another two or three years, at the very least. Nintendo will, of course, reveal its future hardware plans when it’s good and ready, but we’re hoping it will at least be in line with when this ten-year deal is likely to kick off.
However, the cynics in us wonder if this is all an elaborate show to get Sony to backtrack on its current stance on the whole deal. While we have no doubt that Microsoft will honor its commitment to Nintendo, we can’t help but think it’s simply a means to an end. Finally, check out this tweet from Microsoft Vice Chairman and President Brad Smith, who doesn’t mince words calling on Sony to make a deal of its own:
It’s pretty revealing, isn’t it? It’s like Smith saying, “Well, Sony? Nintendo can play nice, why not you?”. It no doubt paints Sony as the bad guy in the whole fiasco and is likely to sway regulators even further in Microsoft’s direction as they consider the merger’s impact. We fully recognize that Nintendo has nothing to lose with this deal while Sony is no doubt still considering a possible future without Call of Duty, but it’s a smart – and somewhat brutal – move by Microsoft nonetheless.
Still, regardless of the outcome, we’re pretty excited to see Call of Duty potentially returning to Nintendo platforms in some form. And you? We’ve put together some polls to see what you think, but don’t forget to leave a comment below and share your thoughts on the whole thing!