Microsoft summarises how it would bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch in a filing to persuade the United Kingdom’s Competition and Market Authority regulator to approve the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Call of Duty has a limited history on Nintendo hardware, and bringing modern games to the Nintendo Switch would be a difficult task. However, if Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through, it will have to do so over the next ten years.
It’s been roughly ten years since the last Call of Duty game was released on a Nintendo platform. Activision Blizzard has not committed to a Nintendo platform since Call of Duty: Ghosts was ported to the Wii U in 2013. However, in order to persuade international regulators to approve the acquisition, Microsoft signed a legally binding agreement to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms for the next ten years.
A Microsoft filing includes a summary of its plans to bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch in order to persuade the CMA that it is committed to following through on the agreement.
To begin, Microsoft states up front that Call of Duty is available in two flavours: free-to-play Warzone releases and pay-to-play Call of Duty releases. Keeping this in mind, Microsoft states that the Call of Duty: Warzone engine is optimised to run on a “wide range of hardware devices,” including various PC hardware. As a result, it’s more than adaptable enough to work on Switch.
Given Activision’s extensive history of optimising and porting games to a variety of consoles with varying levels of power, Microsoft is confident that buy-to-play Call of Duty releases will also be possible to port to the Nintendo Switch. It uses games ported to Switch from other publishers, such as Apex Legends and Fortnite, to demonstrate that the Switch is more than capable of running high-performance online multiplayer games.
There are numerous reasons why Activision chose to discontinue releasing Call of Duty games on Nintendo hardware. However, the inability to port Call of Duty to Nintendo hardware is not one of them. Activision is more than capable, but it will require Microsoft’s determination to make it happen.
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