Microsoft strikes 10-year deal with Nintendo on Call of Duty

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. go through / goʊ θru / (phrasal v.) – to be officially accepted or approved

    After years of discussion in the senate, the law finally went through.

  2. fend off (someone/something) / fɛnd ɔf / (phrasal v.) – to defend against attacks, unwanted questions, criticisms, etc.

    The CEO tried to fend off rumors that the company is involved in an illegal deal.

  3. rival / ˈraɪ vəl / (n.) – a person, business, or organization that competes with another for the same goal

    The players are eager to beat their rival team.

  4. transaction / trænˈsæk ʃən / (n.) – the act of doing business with another person, company, or organization

    The corporation celebrated another successful transaction with its foreign investors.

  5. distort / dɪˈstɔrt / (v.) – to change something so that it becomes false or not accurate

    The report distorted the mayor’s statement. Now, people have a bad impression of him.


Read the text below.

Microsoft agreed to make the hit video game Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10 years should its $69 billion purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard go through — an apparent attempt to fend off objections from rival Sony.

The blockbuster merger is facing close scrutiny from regulators in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Microsoft, maker of the Xbox game console, faces resistance from Sony, which makes the competing PlayStation console. Microsoft has raised concerns with antitrust watchdogs about losing access to what it calls a “must-have” game title.

Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, tweeted that Microsoft “entered into a 10-year commitment” to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo.

Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted his thanks to Nintendo, which makes the Switch game console, saying the same offer was available for Sony.

“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 said.

Smith said the agreement would 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 to a request for comment. Adding to the pressure on Sony, Microsoft also said it has committed to keeping Call of Duty on the platform Steam, a digital marketplace for PC games, in an agreement with Steam’s operator Valve.

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Smith raised concerns about the possibility that the Federal Trade Commission could take Microsoft to court to stop the deal. Antitrust watchdogs in both Britain and the European Union also are investigating the transaction over concerns it would distort competition.

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 in November 2022 that the latest installment, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, had earned more than $1 billion in sales since its Oct. 28 launch.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Sony’s PlayStation is a competitor of Microsoft’s Xbox. Do you think Sony has a reason to object to the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Microsoft said that the company would be “happy to hammer out a 10-year deal for PlayStation as well.” In your opinion, should Sony accept Microsoft’s offer? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • When choosing a gaming console, what factors do you think should be considered (ex. price, specs, design)? Discuss.
  • Do you think the gaming industry will continue to be huge in the next few years? Why or why not? Discuss.