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Microsoft, Nintendo reach deal to keep Call of Duty available to Switch players

Activision games from the Call of Duty series are pictured in a store in New York City on Jan. 18. Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision has raised concerns among regulators. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Activision games from the Call of Duty series are pictured in a store in New York City on Jan. 18. Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision has raised concerns among regulators.

Photo: (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

RCI

Microsoft says it's open to a similar deal for PlayStation users

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.

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

The Associated Press with files from CBC News

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