In the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has set its sights on expanding the availability of the popular game franchise, Call of Duty. The company aims to make the game accessible on as many platforms as possible, including Nintendo’s devices. In fact, Microsoft has already secured a 10-year legal agreement with Nintendo to facilitate this expansion.
Obstacles Faced by Xbox in the Acquisition
However, before Microsoft can proceed with its plans, it must address the challenges posed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Sony, both of whom are attempting to block the deal. The FTC and Sony argue that Nintendo does not directly compete in the primary console market, suggesting that the acquisition would not impact Nintendo in the same manner as it would affect PlayStation.
PlayStation’s Perspective on Nintendo’s Role as a Competitor
Jim Ryan, the head of PlayStation, emphasized the view that Nintendo is not a major competitor to Sony in a pre-recorded deposition. Ryan cited the example of Call of Duty’s sales on past Nintendo consoles to support this perspective. According to him, the audience for the Call of Duty series represents a “very different market” compared to the typical Nintendo audience, which tends to enjoy games like “Mario and Zelda.”
Microsoft’s Confidence in Call of Duty’s Performance on Nintendo Switch
Although Microsoft has been questioned about the feasibility of running Call of Duty on the Nintendo Switch, the discussion primarily focused on hardware capabilities and performance. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, expressed his belief that the game could run “relatively great compared to other Switch games.” This suggests that Microsoft is optimistic about the potential success of Call of Duty on the Nintendo platform.
Despite the FTC’s attempts to establish Nintendo as a non-competitor to Sony, it seems somewhat unfair considering Nintendo’s dominance in the video game market. As of March 2023, over 125 million Switch units have been sold, and the sales of software have surpassed one billion units as of May this year. These impressive figures indicate Nintendo’s significant presence in the industry.
By expanding the availability of Call of Duty to Nintendo devices, Microsoft aims to tap into a new market and attract a different segment of gamers. As the acquisition progresses, Microsoft will need to address the concerns raised by the FTC and Sony to realize its vision of expanding the popular franchise’s reach.