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Gabe Newell Says He Trusts Microsoft's Intentions and Did Not Sign Call of Duty Agreement

Gabe Newell Says He Trusts Microsoft's Intentions and Did Not Sign Call of Duty Agreement - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 07 December 2022 / 5,013 Views

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer this week announced Microsoft has entered a 10-year commitment with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms if Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition is approved.

Microsoft has also committed to keep releasing Call of Duty on Steam alongside Xbox after the deal closes.

"Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King," said Spencer. "Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play."

He added, "I'm also pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King."

Valve President Gabe Newell in a statement to Kotaku says he did not sign Microsoft's long-term Call of Duty commitment has he trusts their intentions. 

Gabe Newell Says He Trusts Microsoft's Intentions and Did Not Sign Call of Duty Agreement

"We’re happy that Microsoft wants to continue using Steam to reach customers with Call of Duty when their Activision acquisition closes," said Newell.

"Microsoft has been on Steam for a long time and we take it as a signal that they are happy with gamers reception to that and the work we are doing. Our job is to keep building valuable features for not only Microsoft but all Steam customers and partners.

"Microsoft offered and even sent us a draft agreement for a long-term Call of Duty commitment but it wasn’t necessary for us because a) we’re not believers in requiring any partner to have an agreement that locks them to shipping games on Steam into the distant future b) Phil and the games team at Microsoft have always followed through on what they told us they would do so we trust their intentions and c) we think Microsoft has all the motivation they need to be on the platforms and devices where Call of Duty customers want to be."

Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has so far been approved in BrazilSaudi Arabia, and Serbia unconditionally.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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shikamaru317 (on 07 December 2022)

So basically now all of the major industry players except Sony want this acquisition to go through. Smart moves by Xbox for sure.

  • +25
smroadkill15 (on 07 December 2022)

This is a huge statement from Gabe and could very well be what pushes regulators to approve.

  • +16
gtotheunit91 (on 07 December 2022)

Lord Gaben has spoken!

A very telling statement considering he left MS to co-found Valve.

  • +15
tslog (on 07 December 2022)

Phil Spencer is the very best thing to happen to Xbox since Halo. ( Probably should give props to Peter Moore & who ever else was responsible for the games on the 360 Generation too ).
That Gabe Newell wouldn't sign a contract regarding Call on Duty on Steam because he TRUSTS Phil, is a massive statement.
No other Xbox leader in history would have got that trust. Amazing.
Now Phil, get me more games, do better with xbox teams that are in trouble developing their games, and get you'r DVR to work at a good standard.

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SKMBlake (on 07 December 2022)

Spoiler: between two pages of the CoD agreement there was the approval of the launch of Half Life 3 production

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scrapking SKMBlake (on 07 December 2022)


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Azzanation (on 07 December 2022)

In Lord Gaben we trust.

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gtotheunit91 Azzanation (on 07 December 2022)


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Dante9 (on 08 December 2022)

Hope that doesn't come back to bite him in the ass later. Not signing contracts in business? Okay.

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KratosLives (on 08 December 2022)

I wonder how much they paid big ol gabe. This sounds like just to make microsoft look all innocent , to help get the deal approved

  • -2
gtotheunit91 KratosLives (on 08 December 2022)

Gabe is a billionaire and richer than 99% of MS employees and barely works at Valve anymore lol. He just chills in New Zealand these days. He’s always been like this in business dealings over the years. Gabe doesn't do the crap you just described.

If he doesn’t like a company, he makes it known. Why do you think we call him Lord Gaben?

  • +1
KratosLives gtotheunit91 (on 08 December 2022)

Didn;t gave say he'll never work with sony again early in ps3's life cycle. Than 2 years later portal 2 was the lead system, over xbox and suddenly he was in good relationships with sony

  • 0
gtotheunit91 KratosLives (on 08 December 2022)

Idk about that, but he definitely hated the PS3's architecture. Which tbf, the PS3 was notoriously difficult to develop games for. But Valve didn't handle the PS3 versions of their games. They left that to EA. Maybe that's what Gabe meant that he himself wouldn't work on PS3 anymore.

I've definitely never heard of Valve having a good relationship with Sony though. They don't need to either. Considering Valve hasn't made a console game in 10 years and Half-Life: Alyx hasn't been announced for PSVR2. At least not yet.

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KratosLives gtotheunit91 (on 09 December 2022)

I remember gabe walking out on stage praising sony, and then announcing portal 2 on ps3. I think this was back in 2010.

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Chazore (on 07 December 2022)

Notice he said he was "fine with it", yet he didn't sign the agreement.

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scrapking Chazore (on 07 December 2022)

He said he didn't sign because he trusts the Microsoft games team and their word alone was good enough for him, which is actually a pretty amazing thing for a competitor to say (Steam is a competing PC distribution model to Microsoft, and has been openly antagonistic towards Windows by trying to boost Linux and Mac gaming [most recently with the SteamDeck]).

  • +7
Chazore scrapking (on 07 December 2022)

Yes, but he could still sign for it, otherwise if his word is good enough, so is everyone else's word, he is not above every other company in the industry to be fine to just use words alone.

  • -2
smroadkill15 Chazore (on 07 December 2022)

Gabe literally says he doesn't need it and explains why. You take out a small portion of the statement and be like, "but this though!" Context matters and your refusing to acknowledge the full statement.

  • +2
Chazore smroadkill15 (on 07 December 2022)

No I saw the whole statement, I'm just saying that he likely should have signed it, because not signing it tells me he's in a half n' half mindset, because I know what his history was like prior to him leaving MS, and topping it off with "we don't buy into exclusivity", that he once went on about in the past, but I feel like none of you here remember either of those moments in time with his current statement and step back to look at the picture.

  • -3
SecondWar Chazore (on 08 December 2022)

Most of the major publishers have tried to setup their own PC gaming stores in the last decade and none come close to rivalling Steam. Activision, EA, Ubisoft and Microsoft have all made their games available on Steam again as it would seem they lost more than they gained through storefront exclusivity.
Even if Microsoft change tack because Gabe didn't sign the contract it doesn't seem likely to threaten Steam's market position, giving them a position of strength. They say they don't want to force people onto their platform, and past events prove they don't need to - they eventually come back anyway.

  • 0
Chazore SecondWar (on 08 December 2022)

They can if they would just do some R&D, instead of shrugging their arms and walking away.

Valve did it because they stuck around long enough to learn, all the others didn't and gave up, even Bnet is still around and that has been baked into Blizz games since the friggin 90's man, the 90's...

  • +1
SecondWar Chazore (on 07 December 2022)

I take it you didn’t read the bit about why he didn’t sign it?

  • +3
Azzanation Chazore (on 07 December 2022)

I think its also a Steam stance where they are saying do what you wish and in the end, they don't need CoD if it disappears. But thank you anyway. Not showing any signs of weakness over an IP.

  • +2
Spade (on 07 December 2022)
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LivncA_Dis3 (on 07 December 2022)
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