Microsoft plans on bringing Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch

by Danny Craig  · 
Updated
Microsoft plans on bringing Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch
Activision

Microsoft has announced that it has entered into a decade-long commitment to bring Call of Duty (COD) to Nintendo consoles, if its acquisition of Activision Blizzard is successful.

The details:

  • Despite a turbulent anti-trust lawsuit, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has confirmed that the company is aiming to release the mainline COD franchise on Nintendo consoles and Steam for the next 10 years if the Activision Blizzard deal can be completed.
  • In an interview with the Washington Post, Spencer stated that the development work for porting the first COD title over to the Switch “would likely take a little bit of time” following the targeted June 2023 closing date of the merger.
  • When asked if the Switch, which isn’t as powerful as consoles, would be capable of running a mainline COD title, Spencer pointed out that Microsoft’s Minecraft port to the Switch required “specific work” to run well. He followed up with "Minecraft and Call of Duty are different games. But from how you get games onto Nintendo, how you run a development team that is targeting multiple platforms, that’s experience we have.”
  • It’s unknown when we’ll see the first COD release on a Nintendo platform, but with the Switch turning six years old in 2023 it’s possible that the popular FPS franchise will land on an entirely different Nintendo device altogether.

The context:

  • The lawsuit surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is still ongoing, which was prompted after Sony made the challenge that the possibility of COD becoming an Xbox/PC exclusive would be an unfair advantage in the market. As things stand, though, it’s unlikely that the merger will fail as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reportedly softened its stance on the situation.
  • COD has not seen a mainline release on a Nintendo platform since Ghosts in 2013 for the Wii U.
  • Past COD releases on Nintendo platforms have tended to remove or change features due to the lack of processing power available in them. Although Black Ops 2 on Wii U was comparable to other platforms, Ghosts was in-line with the older Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, as opposed to the Xbox One/PlayStation 4 releases. It’s likely that heavy alterations will be needed to ensure modern COD titles run smoothly on Nintendo devices.