obligations It might be one of the most popular series on the planet, but it’s not exactly the kind of game you think of when you envision the Nintendo Switch. So, in a way, it’s very strange to see Microsoft come out tonight and announce a “10-year commitment” to launch COD games on Nintendo platforms, starting with Switch.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer made the announcement on Twitter, along with an identical promise to continue bringing COD Games to Steam too:
Microsoft has made a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people, however they choose to play.
I’m also pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continuing to offer Call of Duty on Steam concurrently with Xbox after we’ve closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King.
He is making these promises, of course, not because there is much of a market for COD on the Switch, but because your company (Microsoft) is in the process of trying to close a deal to buy the company that owns obligations (Activision), a deal looming under increasing scrutiny from governments not only in the US, but also abroad.
the obligations The series is a key stumbling block in that deal, as various governments indicate that locking up the popular series behind one platform will create an unfair monopoly on the video game business.
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That’s why reports surfaced last week suggesting that Microsoft might be considering doing a 10-year deal with Sony., its main competitors in the console space, in an attempt to allay those fears. Those reports, however, made no mention of Nintendo or Valve’s Steam platform, so tonight’s announcement clearly targets Sony’s arc in an attempt to isolate and force them (even if it was also lightly telegraphed last month).
It’s important to note that these are just promises meant to grease some wheels and look better in the eyes of those skeptical governments; Spencer won’t be in a position to really do this unless the Activision purchase goes through. And even if you do, there will be questions; as Spencer says in this interview with the Washington Postpromising to bring obligations for the Switch it’s one thing, getting it to work on Nintendo hardware is an entirely different matter.
Interestingly, while the Nintendo side of the pledge stands out for its odd fit and potential glitches, Valve’s pledge seems much more haphazard, with Gabe Newell saying Kotaku in a sentence:
We’re pleased that Microsoft wants to continue using Steam to reach customers with Call of Duty when it closes its acquisition of Activision. Microsoft has been around Steam for a long time, and we take that as a sign that they’re happy with the reception from players and the work we’re doing. Our job is to continue to create valuable features not only for Microsoft, but also for all Steam customers and partners.
Microsoft offered and even sent us a draft agreement for a long-term Call of Duty commitment, but it wasn’t necessary for us because a) we don’t believe in requiring any partner to have an agreement that limits them to shipping games on Steam to the distant future b) Phil and the Microsoft gaming team have always followed through on what they told us they would, so we trust their intentions and c) we believe Microsoft has all the motivation they need to be on the platforms and devices where The Call of Duty customers want to be.
(obligations has been on steam for a long time totalbut the series just returned after a five-year hiatus locked behind Activision’s own launcherexactly the kind of restriction that concerns the various government objections to the proposed merger!)
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