Microsoft’s deal with Nintendo to bring “Call of Duty” games to Nintendo systems — if Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through — is now official.
Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted late Monday that the agreement, first announced in December, is now binding. “This is just part of our commitment to bring Xbox games and Activision titles like “Call of Duty” to more players on more platforms,” Smith said in his tweet.
“Call of Duty” will be available to Nintendo players on the same day as Xbox gamers, “with full feature and content parity,” according to Microsoft’s statement.
The deal is part of Microsoft’s effort to help convince regulators to approve the acquisition of Activision. Update: Microsoft on Tuesday also announced a 10-year deal with NVIDIA to bring Xbox PC games and Activision PC games — including “Call of Duty” — to NVIDIA’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is attempting to block the deal and Microsoft is facing similar headwinds in Europe.
Reuters reported that Smith and other executives will speak to EU antitrust regulators at a closed hearing this week. Update: Microsoft posted a video of Smith speaking at a press conference in Brussels.
Microsoft laid out its case against the FTC in December, describing itself as “the third-place manufacturer of gaming consoles” and its acquisition target as “one of many publishers of popular video games.”
In opposing to the acquisition, PlayStation maker Sony has expressed concern that Microsoft might make future “Call of Duty” games and other big Activision titles exclusive to Microsoft Xbox.
Microsoft has offered Sony a 10-year deal for equitable “Call of Duty” distribution on PlayStation. Sony has previously called Microsoft’s offers “inadequate on many levels.”
The deal was first announced more than a year ago. It would be the largest acquisition in the Redmond company’s history, eclipsing its $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2017.