After a lot of back and forth between Xbox and Sony about Call of Duty’s availability on other systems should the upcoming Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard go through, Xbox head Phil Spencer has just tossed another piece of hardware into the mix: the Nintendo Switch.
Per The Verge’s Tom WarrenSpencer said today at WSJ Live that not only will Call of Duty be available on PlayStation, but he also wants to bring it to Nintendo’s hybrid device.
“Call of Duty specifically will be available on PlayStation. I’d love to see it on the Switch, I’d love to see the game playable on many different screens. Our intent is to treat Call of Duty like Minecraft.”
Minecraft, for context, is available on an absurd number of platforms spanning PC and Mac, iOS and Android and Windows Phone, multiple Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo systems, Apple TV, Raspberry Pi, and more. At the moment, Call of Duty has only made it to PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, and the planned acquisition has had multiple parties questioning whether PlayStation may eventually be shuffled out of the mix.
Last we heard, Sony’s Jim Ryan was alleging that Microsoft had “only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends,” calling the proposal “inadequate on many levels.”
On Spencer’s end, he’s repeated that while Call of Duty will come to Game Pass, he still intends for it to come to PlayStation on the same day – but he’s stopped short of saying how long that will last, or whether Xbox owners might not get other special perks over other platforms.
Still, the throughline in Spencer’s past statements has been that Xbox’s goal is to bring games to as many people as possible on as many platforms as possible. He mentioned this again in the second half of his quote at WSJ Live, emphasizing what the goal of the Activision Blizzard deal was for Xbox:
“This opportunity [the acquisition] is really about mobile for us,” he said. “When you think about three billion people playing video games, there’s only about 200 million households on console.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) – Campaign Screenshots
Activision Blizzard’s mobile arm, King, has been pointed out before as the primary reason for the acquisition, including with it major mobile franchises like Candy Crush. It’s a big get for a company like Xbox, which currently doesn’t have much presence in the mobile space.
The acquisition battle has been especially weird lately as multiple governments begin to investigate the massive acquisition for potential antitrust violations. Xbox recently launched a website to tell the public what it thinks are the benefits of the buyout. Meanwhile, Sony has been slamming the deal, saying it has “major negative implications for gamers” and urging governments to look into it.
As for Call of Duty on the Switch? Nintendo’s largely stayed out of the back and forth thus far, though back in 2019 there were rumors of Xbox Live on Switch, and in 2021 more rumors hinted that Xbox Game Pass would similarly show up. While that never materialized, we did get Cuphead and Ori and the Blind Forest, previously Xbox exclusives. Maybe talks haven’t stalled out after all.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.