Call of Duty plans 10-year Nintendo partnership following Microsoft merger

Call of Duty Warzone Season 2
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty is heading to Nintendo Switch in the wake of Activision's merger with Microsoft.

In a tweet early this morning, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that "Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King." Spencer also confirms that future games in the franchise will continue to come to Steam "simultaneously to Xbox."

Speaking in The Washington Post, Spencer went on to imply that it would take some time to get the series onto new consoles. If the deal were to close on the planned June 2023 date, spencer suggested that the development work required to get Call of Duty onto Nintendo platforms "would likely take a little bit of time." The eventual plan is that "once we get into the rhythm of this [...] when [a Call of Duty game] launches on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, that it would also be available on Nintendo at the same time."

Interestingly, Spencer specifically mentions the Nintendo Switch, citing the changes made to games like Minecraft to ensure they can run smoothly on the platform. While Nintendo hasn't made its plans clear regarding a next-generation console, a ten-year deal would almost certainly cover the Switch's successor.

The new deal is set against the backdrop of Microsoft's merger with Activision, and Sony's attempts to disrupt it. Both companies have spent months attempting to bring competition authorities like the FTC in the US and the CMA in the UK around to their way of thinking, with Call of Duty a key component in those arguments. Microsoft is understood to have offered Sony a similar ten-year deal, with multiple Microsoft employees also suggesting that while a 'forever deal' isn't a good idea, the company has no desire to pull the global franchise off PlayStation consoles for good.

Meanwhile, Sony is burning every bridge it can to prevent the deal going through.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.