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Call of Duty to be available to Switch users if Microsoft-Activision deal is approved | CBC News

Microsoft said Wednesday that it struck a deal to make the hit video game Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10 years when its $69-billion US purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard goes through.

The all-cash deal is set to be the largest in the history of the tech industry, but is facing close scrutiny from regulators in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

Microsoft, maker of the Xbox console and gaming system, faces resistance from Sony, which makes the competing PlayStation console and has raised concerns with antitrust watchdogs about losing access to what it calls a “must-have” game title.

Microsoft president Brad Smith tweeted his thanks to Nintendo, which makes the Switch game console, and said “we’ll be happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well.”

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If you’ve played Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, or even Candy Crush, you’re among the 400 million people who play a game from Activision-Blizzard every month. On Tuesday, the company was purchased by Microsoft for $68.7 billion US. It’s the biggest tech deal in history, over 15 times what Disney paid for the Star Wars franchise and LucasFilm. And the cost for Microsoft could be more than just cash. Activision-Blizzard has become notorious for allegations of discrimination and abuse. Last year, the company got hit with lawsuits from state and U.S. federal employment watchdogs, over its “frat house” culture. Today on Front Burner, we’re talking to Polygon’s Nicole Carpenter about how this unprecedented mega-deal will change the gaming landscape as we know it, and how the video game giant itself is trying to outrun its own toxic history.

Smith said the agreement will bring Call of Duty to more gamers and more platforms, and “that’s good for competition and good for consumers.”

Sony’s European press office didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

At the heart of the dispute is control over future releases of Activision Blizzard’s most popular games, especially Call of Duty, a first-person military shooter franchise. Activision reported last month that the latest instalment, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, had earned more than $1 billion in sales since its Oct. 28 launch.

The deal for Activision Blizzard would also give Microsoft control of other popular game franchises including World of Warcraft and Candy Crush


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