One of the biggest franchises in gaming is coming to a new console. Microsoft on Tuesday night announced a 10-year deal to make Call of Duty available on Nintendo's platforms.
The news comes nearly a year after Microsoft announced a $69 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, which owns the popular first-person shooter series.
Any deal with Nintendo, however, hinges on regulators approving Microsoft's purchase of the game publishing giant, and governments around the world have expressed antitrust concerns about the combination. Through this approval period, Microsoft has made an effort to broadcast that it won't limit access to its games as a result of the merger — one of the largest in the industry's history.
"Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people — however they choose to play," tweeted Xbox head Phil Spencer.
Microsoft President Brad Smith made a similar point and added that the deal was "good for competition and good for consumers." He also made an overture to Sony around the announcement offering an extension to its content-sharing deal.
"Any day @Sony wants to sit down and talk, we'll be happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well," he tweeted.
Sony has consistently criticized the acquisition and said a previous offer to keep Call of Duty on its PlayStation consoles for an additional three years was inadequate.
“After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers," said PlayStation chief Jim Ryan in a statement. "We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Smith wrote that Sony's concerns were not founded.
"The main supposed potential anticompetitive risk Sony raises is that Microsoft would stop making Call of Duty available on the PlayStation," he wrote. "But that would be economically irrational. A vital part of Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty revenue comes from PlayStation game sales."
Meanwhile, European antitrust regulators continue to scrutinize the deal. In November, Reuters reported that Microsoft planned to offer concessions soon that would address regulators' concerns. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is also expected to make a ruling shortly.