There's no Call of Duty on the Nintendo Switch because Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick thought the machine would not be a success.
Bobby Kotick has shared how upon first seeing the Nintendo Switch some several years ago, he made what was ultimately a poor decision on the overall eventual appeal of the now widely popular hybrid device.
The TL;DR is this:
Upon seeing a prototype of the Switch, Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, did not think the Nintendo platform would be a success, and as such decided against bringing Call of Duty to the hybrid.
Kotick, the long-standing and rather unpopular CEO of gaming giant Activision Blizzard, was questioned Wednesday, June 28 about the evolving gaming landscape, Microsoft's Xbox, Sony and their PlayStation platform, exclusive games, and of course Call of Duty, amongst other things.
The questioning of Kotick is just part of the ongoing FTC v Microsoft trial, which itself is just a component of the larger story around Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision-Blizzard — details of which were first announced way back in January of 2022.
If this proposed deal goes through, it would result in a huge payout for Kotick, who has been at the helm of Activision since he purchased the company in the early 90s.
As such, Kotick has been called to the stand to share his assertions on the various aspects being queried by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Reporter Derek Strickland was covering today's courtroom drama and shared, via a series of tweets, how Kotick made a "bad judgement" about his analysis of the Switch platform.
He told the courtroom how although Activision had made some considerations towards bringing Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch, it ultimately did not happen as a result of Kotick's concerns upon seeing prototype Switch hardware — chiefly that he thought the console was trying to do too much and he did not think it was going to be successful.
"When I saw the prototypes for the Switch, I was concerned — they were trying to accomplish a lot. I didn’t think it was going to be wildly successful." — Bobby Kotick
On reflection, Kotick noted that not bringing the popular franchise to the Switch was a: "bad decision on my part".
During the trial, the FTC has been looking to dismiss the Switch as not directly competing with the likes of the Xbox and PlayStation — something Microsoft (rightly) disputes. This dispute has resulted in an unusual amount of time being spent discussing Nintendo's machine — and as Tom Warren at The Verge highlights, this talk around the Switch, future Nintendo hardware, and the potential for Call of Duty software on either has surfaced once again today, with Kotick offering up inexact answers on the matter.
In their efforts to get the deal over the line, Microsoft have been keen to show how they will make the popular Call of Duty franchise widely available — all of which is dependent on the deal going through of course. Microsoft has until the middle of July to try and close its proposed acquisition.
The trial continues.