The plot un-Twitch-es.
Back in 2018, Twitch signed a two-year deal with Activision to be the sole third-party provider of Overwatch League livestreams in all regions outside of China. Now that it’s 2020 and that deal has expired, Activision will be signing on with a new partner.
The company has recently signed a new multi-year deal with YouTube for exclusive livestreaming rights for all of Activision’s pro esports leagues and events. This is including and not limited to:
- Overwatch League
- Call of Duty League
- Hearthstone Esports
- World of Warcraft Esports
Esports lives on @YouTubeGaming.
Welcome to the family, Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, and Hearthstone Esports.
— Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) January 24, 2020
Three of these titles are Blizzard games, FYI.
The deal will entail “premium network quality of service” and a way for Activision to “tap into Google Cloud’s AI tools to offer curated recommendations for in-game offers and differentiated gaming experiences”, according to Google Cloud head of gaming Sunil Rayan.
“We’ve worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience. We are excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world”.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed yet, but we assume that it’s worth the same as Activision’s 2018 deal with Twitch.tv: US$90 billion. Here’s an official statement from Activision Blizzard Esports CEO Pete Vlastelica:
“This is an exciting year for Activision Blizzard Esports as we head into the inaugural season of Call of Duty League and our first ever season of homestands for Overwatch League all around the world.
It’s our mission to deliver high-quality competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and to celebrate our players as the superstars that they are. This partnership will help us deliver on that promise at new levels, by combining our passionate communities of fans and players with YouTube’s powerful content platform and exciting history of supporting next-generation entertainment.”