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Microsoft Unveils Plans to Bring Call of Duty Games to the Switch

Microsoft Unveils Plans to Bring Call of Duty Games to the Switch

Microsoft outlines how it will bring Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch games as part of its 10-year agreement with Nintendo.

In a document submitted in an attempt to persuade the UK's Competition and Market Authority regulator to approve the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft details its plans to bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch. Since Call of Duty has only recently been available on Nintendo hardware, it would be difficult to bring current games to the Nintendo Switch. However, if Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through, it will have to work hard over the next ten years to make it happen.

The most recent Call of Duty game to be released on a Nintendo platform was about ten years ago. Since 2013, when Call of Duty: Ghosts was ported to the Wii U, Activision Blizzard has not made a commitment to a Nintendo platform. Microsoft, however, signed a legally binding agreement to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms going 10 years into the future in order to convince international regulators to approve its acquisition.

A summary of Microsoft's plans to port Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch is included in a filing to demonstrate to the CMA that the company is committed to upholding the terms of the agreement. In the beginning, Microsoft states that Call of Duty is available in two formats: free-to-play Warzone releases and buy-to-play Call of Duty releases. Microsoft states that Call of Duty: Warzone's engine is optimized to work with a "wide range of hardware devices," including various PC hardware, in light of this. It is therefore more than adaptable enough to function on Switch.

Microsoft claims that it is confident that buy-to-play Call of Duty releases will also be within the company's power to port to Nintendo Switch given Activision's extensive history of optimizing and porting games to numerous different consoles with varying levels of power. To demonstrate that the Switch is more than capable of running high-performance online multiplayer games, it makes reference to games from other publishers that have been ported to the system, such as Apex Legends and Fortnite.

Activision made the decision to stop releasing Call of Duty games on Nintendo hardware for a variety of reasons. However, one of those reasons is not the inability to port Call of Duty to Nintendo hardware. Activision is more than capable, but Microsoft's perseverance is what will make it happen.

The significance of bringing Call of Duty to Nintendo consoles is one matter that is not covered. Nintendo wasn't even viewed as PC, PlayStation, and Xbox's equal competitors in some regulatory reporting. In light of this, bringing Call of Duty to Nintendo probably wouldn't increase competition, at least not in a way that regulators would consider sufficient to approve the acquisition. It is unclear how Microsoft's contract with Nintendo for Call of Duty will affect the UK's CMA.

Source: Microsoft Response to CMA (via The Verge)

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