FP StaffDec 07, 2022 13:05:17 IST
It seems that Microsoft may soon allow gamers who use Nintendo’s consoles to play games from the Call of Duty franchise. Microsoft recently announced that they are willing to sign a 10-year agreement which would allow the Japanese gaming console maker and gaming studio to let their users play the game.
Microsoft has been trying to complete their acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the studio that publishes the Call of Duty series. Regular gamers would know that the Call of Duty franchise is one of the most popular first-person shooter games in the world, and one of the most popular gaming franchises ever.
However, the FTC or the Federal Trade Commission started investigating the acquisition over accusations of potential antitrust behaviour. The merger, if it goes through, will be the biggest ever acquisition in the video game business, as Microsoft would pay about $69 billion for Activision Blizzard. In comparison, Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. Both, Microsoft and Activision have said they expect the deal to close by mid-2023.
Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer has revealed that they are committed to expanding the number of platforms on which people can play games. To facilitate that, they are also committing to offer Call of Duty games on Valve’s Steam platform at the same time as it’s released on Xbox.
The commitment from Microsoft comes after the software giant pledged to continue offering Call of Duty for Sony’s PlayStation console for at least another 10 years, contingent on the fact that the Activision Blizzard deal is approved.
Spencer also says that Microsoft has extended a similar offer to the Sony Group to bring the famous Activision franchise to PlayStation consoles for over a decade now, but they don’t seem to be too keen. Sony, on the other hand, has fiercely objected to the Activision acquisition, primarily because of concerns the US tech giant could make content like Call of Duty exclusive to its own gaming services.
Sony is not the only one to have this fear. The FTC is also concerned that Microsoft could favour its own Xbox consoles for titles from Activision Blizzard at the expense of rivals like Sony and Nintendo. To assuage this, it seems that Microsoft is going out of its way.
Microsoft has also stated that they are willing to further increase the duration of their collaboration with Nintendo, provided things go well. Microsoft executives are set to meet with US Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan and other commissioners Wednesday to make its final case in support of the deal.