The confirmation comes in the midst of a rather heated ongoing process in which multiple regulators from the U.S, U.K, and the European Union are fiercely scrutinising the merger between Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard following strong objections from Sony. Indeed, there was even talk that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) might even file a lawsuit against the whole thing, but recent chatter indicates that things might once again be swinging in Microsoft's favour.
So why is this such a big deal for Nintendo gamers? Well, the last Call of Duty game to arrive on a Nintendo platform was 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Wii U; nearly ten years ago. Consider the sheer number of Call of Duty titles we've seen in the time since: there have been a total of nine mainline games since Ghosts, including the likes of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Call of Duty: WWII, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Presuming Activision-Blizzard continues with its current schedule of one Call of Duty game per year, it's probably a safe bet that Nintendo platforms will amass around around ten Call of Duty games over the course of the company's ten-year deal with Microsoft.
That is, of course, presuming there will be some sort of parity between platforms. As it currently stands, there's little chance of modern Call of Duty games running on the Switch without some severe compromises to visual fidelity and performance. There's always the possibility that future games might wind up on Nintendo platforms as cloud versions - something that we personally wouldn't be too keen on - and we wouldn't rule out the possibility of spin-off titles similar to the likes of Call of Duty 2: Big Red One and Call of Duty: Roads to Victory. In the event that the latter occurs, we'd wager a spin-off would likely see the light of day once every two years or so.
Our gut, however, tells us that Microsoft is likely aware - at least to some degree - of Nintendo's future hardware plans and is probably willing to bring its flagship mainline titles to the Switch's successor with all of the trimmings. After all, the merger between Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard likely won't finalise for a little while yet (if it does at all), so we probably won't see anything come to fruition for another two or three years, at the least. Nintendo will, of course, reveal its future hardware plans when it's good and ready, but we would hope that it will at least line up with whenever this ten-year deal is likely to kick off.
The cynics in us do wonder, however, if this is all an elaborate show to get Sony to back down from its current stance on the whole deal. While we've no doubt that Microsoft will follow through with its commitment with Nintendo, we can't help but think that it's simply a means to an end. After all, check out this tweet from Vice Chairman and President of Microsoft Brad Smith, who holds no punches in calling out Sony to hash out a deal of its own:
It's pretty revealing, right? It's like Smith is saying "Well, Sony? Nintendo can play nice, why can't you?". It undoubtedly paints Sony as the bad guy in the whole fiasco and will likely make regulators swing even further in Microsoft's direction when considering the impact of the merger. We fully acknowledge that Nintendo has nothing to lose from this deal while Sony is still no doubt considering a potential future without Call of Duty, but it's nevertheless a clever - and somewhat cheeky - move from Microsoft.
Still, regardless of the outcome, we're pretty psyched to see Call of Duty potentially return to Nintendo platforms in some form. But what about you? We've compiled a couple of polls to see what you think, but do remember to leave a comment below and share your thougths on the whole thing!