Two years in a row it appears as if Nintendo's hybrid gaming console, the Switch, won't be on the receiving end of a Call of Duty game. It's been recently confirmed, following the community multiplayer reveal event for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, that the game won't be appearing on the Switch.
Twinfinite is reporting that after sitting down with senior producer Yale Miller, from Treyarch, they were able to confirm that there is no Nintendo Switch version of the game in production.
The Nintendo Switch, however, has not shared the same fate as the Wii U when it comes to sales. The console has sold at an alarmingly fast rate and has managed to pick up a strong install base just a year in, garnering close to 20 million units, which is just 10 million units away from catching up to the Xbox One.
In a way, it seems like passing up a large potential consumer base with nearly 20 million people gaming on the system. Of course, Activision is also probably looking over a number of other factors before considering the port job of Black Ops 4 for Nintendo's system.
For instance, how many first-person shooters are actually available for the Nintendo Switch and how many have sold well enough to justify the resources for the port job? We know that DOOM was launched on the Switch, and it seemed to garner some decent critical feedback, but Bethesda's other first-person shooter, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, has yet to launch for the Switch. The game was originally supposed to be out a lot sooner for the Switch but it was delayed into early 2018. And then, after early 2018 arrived, silence was the only answer from the Bethesda camp. And now most retailer listings show that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will be available starting June 29th, 2018.
Activision likely felt as if it could cut costs by not focusing solely on PC, PS4 and Xbox One gamers. We also have no idea what sort of optimizations would have to go into squeezing down Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to run on the Nintendo Switch.
Keep in mind that even if the game had lower resolution or a few graphical features turned off for the Switch version in the TV mode, there's still the issue of having to scale the game down to run in the portable mode for the Switch. And at that point that could end up rendering certain modes completely unusable when going from TV mode to portable, such as the Battle Royale mode called Blackout.
Treyarch is also adding all new vehicular gameplay to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which could take up all sorts of resources and could prove to be very taxing on the hardware. Right now we just don't know, but it's very possible that the current iteration of the game that's in the works just can't work well on the Switch's hardware, so that means no Black Ops 4 this year on the Switch.