Call of Duty has not been on a Nintendo system in about a decade, but that’s about to change. Xbox announced that it signed a deal with Nintendo to bring the shooter series to Nintendo’s systems for the next 10 years.
Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith tweeted out the “binding” deal, saying that those on Nintendo’s hardware would receive Call of Duty games day and date as other systems with “full feature and content parity.” Smith said “Xbox games” in a general fashion, but it seems, at this moment, that it is focused specifically on Call of Duty. However, Microsoft Studios did publish Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition on Switch in 2019, so at least there’s some precedent for Xbox games to appear on Nintendo consoles. Call of Duty has also not appeared on Nintendo systems since 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts.
This deal follows up on what Head of Xbox Phil Spencer tweeted out in December 2022. He noted that Xbox had entered into an agreement to bring Activision’s marquee shooter to the Switch for 10 years. Spencer also followed that up by saying that Microsoft was committed to bringing Call of Duty to Steam, although Valve President Gabe Newell told Kotaku that he didn’t need the deal because he trusts Microsoft’s intentions to put the game on many platforms as possible. Call of Duty only recently returned to Steam with 2022’s Modern Warfare II after not gracing the PC storefront since 2017’s WWII.
Smith said in December 2022 that Microsoft had offered the same 10-year deal to Sony, but it refused. Sony has been arguing against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as it sees the deal could be harmful to developers and lead to price hikes. Smith also held up the contract with Sony at a press briefing in Brussels and noted that Sony could spend its energy fighting or “can sit down with [Microsoft] to hammer out an agreement” to address its concerns. Microsoft has also previously said that it is “committed to Sony that [it] will also make [Call of Duty games] available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love.”
And as a side note, Spencer tweeted that Xbox has entered a 10-year agreement with Nvidia that would allow players to stream Xbox PC games and Activision’s PC games through GeForce Now.
It seems as though these deals would be put into use later in 2023 for the next widely reported entry in the series. This 2023 Call of Duty title was allegedly originally DLC for 2022’s Modern Warfare II, but plans changed and the expansion turned into its own installment.