Surprisingly, Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, acknowledged his mistake in failing to introduce the famous Call of Duty series to Nintendo’s highly successful Switch console. Kotick’s remarks came during a court hearing in the ongoing case between Microsoft and the US Federal Trade Commission over the former’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Despite the franchise’s long-standing absence from Nintendo platforms, Call of Duty has remained one of the biggest blockbuster shooters in the gaming world. The last two games that appeared on a Nintendo console were Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Ghosts, launched on the underperforming Wii U in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
During the hearing, Kotick was questioned whether Activision had pondered bringing the Call of Duty series to the Nintendo Switch before its 2017 release. He affirmed the consideration but also disclosed his decision against the move.
“I made a bad judgement,” confessed Kotick, regretting his decision. He shared that upon viewing the initial prototype of the Switch, he had concerns due to the ambitious nature of the console, which boasted both stationary and portable capabilities. “When I saw the prototypes for Switch, I was concerned because they were trying to accomplish a lot with a console that also had a portable capability. I didn’t think it was going to be wildly successful.”
Kotick’s misjudgment became apparent as the Nintendo Switch became one of the most successful consoles ever, both critically and commercially, even exceeding the sales of its predecessor, the Wii U, by a significant margin.
The CEO’s acknowledgment underscores the missed opportunity Activision had in reaching the vast Switch user base, which continues to grow. This moment of reflection provides a valuable insight into the complexities and unpredictability of the video game industry, where even seasoned veterans like Kotick can misjudge potential opportunities.