Xbox has been hard at work distributing its games for the last few years. In fact, you already don’t need an Xbox to play the games the company produces thanks to Game Pass and xCloud. But now Microsoft has announced a deal with another gaming giant: Nintendo.
Great news, of course, especially now that Xbox is in the process of (laboriously) acquiring Activision/Blizzard: the developer of the Call of Duty franchise, among others.
Xbox gives Nintendo access to their (potentially) biggest franchise
News of the deal between Xbox and Nintendo was shared by Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president. This agreement would mean that Xbox will bring its games to Nintendo platforms for the next 10 years.
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We’ve now signed a binding 10-year contract to bring Xbox games to Nintendo’s gamers. This is just part of our commitment to bring Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms. pic.twitter.com/JmO0hzw1BO
– Brad Smith (@BradSmi) February 21, 2023
Notable (but not surprising) is the focus that is on Call of Duty. Xbox and PlayStation are now battling over the future of the shooter franchise. Microsoft announced last year that they would purchase Activision/Blizzard (the company behind Call of Duty, Overwatch and a whole lot more) for a whopping $68.7 billion. Sony (the company behind PlayStation) got the chills from that, given the popularity of its Call of Duty games.
A judge indicated that Xbox would indeed get its hands on a very big title if the acquisition goes through. Microsoft responded by saying that their intention is to keep Call of Duty available to everyone, regardless of platform. So that includes Nintendo.
Are other Microsoft games coming along?
Apart from Acitvision and Call of Duty, Microsoft has bought up many more studios in recent years and thus has a large catalog of games under their belt. Could this mean, for example, that we will soon be able to play Halo or Sea of Thieves in handheld mode on the Switch? Who knows, maybe we’ll see classic Nintendo games like Banjo-Kazooie return to modern consoles.
This is not the first time an Xbox-labeled title has appeared on a Nintendo platform. On the Switch, for example, the Ori games and Cuphead are available on the eShop, published by Microsoft. Also, the classic shooter Goldeneye: 007 has recently become available on Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
Something else that stood out in the tweet: nowhere is there any specific reference to the Nintendo Switch as the console these games are coming out on. The latest Nintendo Console is certainly not strong enough to run a newer Call of Duty or Starfield, so perhaps these games are being saved up and/or readied for the Japanese game company’s next console. Plenty to chew on, then.