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In context: Earlier this week, Microsoft published a declaration of commitment to openness and fairness on its platforms, in which it suggested it wouldn’t exclude Call of Duty games from the PlayStation platform. The president of Microsoft has since laid this out in language that, while less ambiguous, still leaves some unanswered questions.
In an interview with CNBC, Microsoft president Brad Smith talked about plans for a new "universal app store." He also explained its commitment to app fairness and said Microsoft wants to keep Activision Blizzard properties multiplatform.
Shortly after Microsoft bought out Activision Blizzard, it said it would honor existing release contracts for games already in development on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. Smith’s blog post this week reiterated that promise as part of an attempt to put off government regulators’ fears. He also suggested the new subsidiary would continue to make multiplatform games beyond those contracts.
Diablo IV is still coming to the PlayStation.
Smith has now flat-out stated that Microsoft wants Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard games to continue coming to PlayStation and plans to extend the CoD franchise to the Nintendo Switch. He compares these games with Minecraft, which Microsoft has continued to support on PlayStation, Nintendo, and Apple platforms years after buying it.
Even though the latest main Call of Duty games appear beyond the Switch's hardware capabilities, Bethesda successfully shipped Switch ports of Wolfenstein II and the Doom games. Additionally, Microsoft-owned Bethesda remastered the original Quake for PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch. Other ports like Skyrim and Wolfenstein II show that a Call of Duty demake is doable on Switch.
Finally, Smith also talked about a new kind of “universal app store” that would let users access apps across multiple devices. It’s unclear how this might differ from Microsoft’s current system, where the purchase of some games gives customers access to both Xbox and PC versions.