The last games in the blockbuster shooter series to appear on a Nintendo console were 2012’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II and 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts.
They were released for Wii U, which sold very poorly compared to its predecessor, Wii, and its successor, Nintendo Switch.
Kotick is giving evidence on Wednesday during Microsoft’s court case against the US Federal Trade Commission, which is seeking to block the Xbox maker’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
He was asked whether Activision had considered bringing Call of Switch to Switch prior to its launch in 2017. He said he had, but decided against doing so.
“I made a bad judgement,” Kotick said. “When I had seen the prototype of the Switch, it was different then when I saw the prototype of the Wii [and] I thought it was the most extraordinary video game system ever created.”
He added: “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.”
After over six years on the market, Nintendo has sold over 125 million Switch consoles, a feat only bettered by its Nintendo DS handheld (154.02 million) and Sony’s PlayStation 2 (155 million).
“It’s probably the second most successful video game system of all time, so it was a bad decision on my part,” Kotick said.
In February, Microsoft signed a “binding 10-year legal agreement” to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms, including “full feature and content parity” with Xbox, should it complete the Activision deal.
Kotick was also asked if Activision would like to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo’s unannounced next-gen console, even if Microsoft’s acquisition fell through.
“I think we would consider it once we had the specs but we don’t have any at present”, he responded.
Is it likely that Activision on its own would make a Call of Duty game for Nintendo’s next console, he was then asked.
“Like I said, I think once we get the detailed specifications—we missed out on the opportunity on this past generation with Switch—so I would like to think we’d be able to do that, but we’ll have to wait until then”.