Microsoft signs deal to put Call of Duty on Nintendo consoles for 10 years

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Microsoft has signed a 10-year contract to put Call of Duty games on Nintendo Switch after the Activision acquisition closes.

Earlier today on February 21, Microsoft president Brad Smith announced the deal between Microsoft, Activision, and Nintendo via his personal Twitter account. In a somewhat casual way of revealing an industry-changing agreement, the Microsoft president revealed Call of Duty games would be on Nintendo platforms on the same day as Xbox and PlayStation systems.

This is a huge commitment from Microsoft and Activision for Nintendo gamers around the world. Not only do the two companies plan on adding an entirely new platform to the annual release cycles of Call of Duty, but the Nintendo versions of Call of Duty games will apparently have "full feature and content parity" with every other platform.

It doesn't take a tech genius to note that the Nintendo Switch is a hell of a lot less capable than the PS5 and Xbox Series X. When huge AAA titles like Call of Duty have made it onto the Switch in the past, they've been available via the cloud, like with A Plague Tale: Requiem and Hitman 3, and this could be how Microsoft and Activision guarantee feature parity for Nintendo users.

This deal between Microsoft, Activision, and Nintendo was first announced as being in progress back in December 2022. At the time, Xbox head Phil Spencer said it would take time to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms, but now with Smith's tweet today, it looks like things are full steam ahead for the new plan.

This is, of course, all hinging on Microsoft's acquisition of Activision actually going through. The deal is currently facing challenges in the U.K. and U.S., in the former a government agency provisionally ruled that the merger would reduce competition, and the FTC will review the acquisition in full later this year in August. These are the two major barriers Microsoft's attempted acquisition has yet to overcome.

You can head over to our new games 2023 guide for a look ahead at all the forthcoming titles across Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox systems.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.