Video game publisher Activision Blizzard and tech giant Google have entered a new partnership with the hopes of powering “new player experiences,” the companies announce this week. This partnership means that Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure will now be powered by Google Cloud which is said to result in a better online experience for those who play Activision Blizzard’s broad collection of games. If you watch esports events like the Call of Duty League or Overwatch League, you’ll now be able to catch those streams on youTube.
Activision Blizzard and Google announced their partnership in a press release on Friday ahead of the start of the Call of Duty League 2020 season. Citing some of the benefits of utilizing the power of Google Cloud, the press release listed some ways players themselves will benefit from the partnership.
“Players will benefit by experiencing premium network quality-of-service, including low latency and packet loss when playing high-fidelity games on any device,” the announcement said. “They will also have optimal personalized interactions, as Activision Blizzard can tap into Google Cloud's AI tools to offer curated recommendations for in-game offers and differentiated gaming experiences.”
In our new multi-year strategic relationship with @ATVI_AB, Google Cloud will serve as the preferred provider for its game hosting infrastructure & @YouTube as its streaming partner for live broadcasts of its esports leagues & events ↓https://t.co/c76KuYl3hm— Google Cloud (@googlecloud) January 24, 2020
YouTube will also be the preferred host for live esports events centered around Activision Blizzard’s games. That includes the Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, and Hearthstone Esports among other scenes, the first of those underway now. Overwatch’s esports events for 2020 will kick off on February 8th, so expect those games to be found on YouTube when they begin.
“We're excited to partner with Google to drive the next generation of gaming innovation for the industry,” said Jacques Erasmus, chief information officer at Activision Blizzard. “Google Cloud's best-in-class infrastructure gives us the confidence to deliver great entertainment to our fans around the world.”
One of the questions that’s come up after this announcement is the implications this partnership might have on Google’s new gaming platform. Google launched its Google Stadia platform last year with a growing selection of games, so it could be that we’ll see more Activision Blizzard games on the platform now. The use of Google Cloud and the YouTube streams will likely be just the start of the deal, though it remains to be seen what else will come from it.