By: Nick Gambino
Microsoft has set off a firestorm of concerns throughout the gaming industry when they made clear their intentions to purchase Activision Blizzard. That’s the company behind the wildly successful Call of Duty series. To put this in perspective, Microsoft is the company behind the Xbox.
That means a console company has bought a game studio with ownership over one of the biggest games in the world – a game that is currently played on more than just the Xbox. It’s played on the PC, Nintendo Switch, and yes, the Sony PlayStation.
Nintendo just signed a 10-year deal with Microsoft to get Xbox games on their consoles. They join earlier signees on this same deal.
“Microsoft and Nintendo have now negotiated and signed a binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo players – the same day as Xbox, with full feature and content parity,” Microsoft said in a statement about the deal. “We are committed to providing long term equal access to Call of Duty to other gaming platforms.”
If they seem to be leaning into this “legal agreement” talk like they’re trying to quell any concern about conflict of interest…well, they are. We’ve reported on their ongoing skirmish with Sony over the matter.
Sony, being the owner of the other giant console on the market, PlayStation, is worried that this acquisition deal is going to take Call of Duty away from them. Microsoft has been trying to convince them that they have no intention or incentive to keep Call of Duty on the Xbox only. I tend to believe them because it doesn’t even seem like good business to do so.
Nintendo and Nvidia are two of the most recent companies to sign a deal with Microsoft that will keep business with Xbox going forward. My prediction is we’ll see Sony signing a similar deal in the near future. It only makes sense at this point.
That is, unless Sony can get enough legal and government muscle behind it to stop the acquisition from going through. That’s not an impossible notion, so we’ll have to wait and see.