They lastly did it, people. After a protracted will-they-won’t-they, full of all kinds of refined hints and loaded implications, Microsoft has gone and tied the knot. Within the occasion its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes via, the corporate has agreed to a 10-year deal to preserve Name of Obligation releasing on Steam and… Nintendo?

Apparently so! In a tweet posted final evening, Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that Microsoft has “entered right into a 10-year dedication to deliver Name of Obligation to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King,” earlier than including that the corporate has additionally agreed “to proceed to supply Name of Obligation on Steam concurrently to Xbox after we’ve closed the merger”.

Excellent news for anybody decided to preserve their library centralised on Steam, particularly for the reason that collection solely returned to the platform (after years away) with October’s Fashionable Warfare 2 launch. However the dedication to Nintendo is, at first, just a little odd: You possibly can’t play a single COD game on Change immediately anyway, so why on Earth is Microsoft committing to a decade of Nintendo releases for the collection?

As a result of it is probably not about Nintendo—or Steam, for that matter—it is about Sony. The PlayStation maker has been a constant thorn in Microsoft’s aspect for the reason that acquisition course of started, and its complaints have largely revolved round entry to COD. Sony has complained to any nationwide regulator that can pay attention that giving Microsoft area over the Name of Obligation collection may have market-upending results, and a few of them have taken be aware. US, UK, and EU regulators have all murmured discontent in regards to the acquisition, and their issues largely revolve round COD.

Thus this take care of Nintendo and Steam. Microsoft hasn’t mentioned this outright, in fact, but it surely’s fairly plain that offers like these are about displaying nationwide regulators that the corporate will be trusted to play good with the collection it owns and defanging Sony’s complaints. Microsoft has been loudly speaking a few related 10-year provide it made to Sony in current weeks, even going as far as to pen an article within the Wall Avenue Journal, saying the settlement could possibly be made “legally enforceable by regulators within the US., UK. and European Union”. However Sony has but to just accept.

Microsoft probably hopes that by getting different trade titans on its settlement bandwagon it may possibly stress Sony into accepting that deal and dropping its foremost grievance in regards to the Activision acquisition. Given how vociferous Sony has been in opposing it to date, although, I am unable to think about the corporate will settle for defeat fairly that simply.

As for these of us outdoors the rarefied airs of video games trade C-suites? Effectively, we’ll get to preserve enjoying COD on Steam for at the least 10 years if the deal goes via, I assume. And I suppose the Change house owners on the market can stay up for Name of Obligation on no matter Nintendo’s subsequent console is, or perhaps even on the Change (by some means) if it sticks round lengthy sufficient. All’s nicely that ends nicely.