The Esports explosion has provided a lot of opportunities for streamers and outlets to make big money, and those outlets seem increasingly willing to pay top dollar to invest in the future of streaming. Take, for example, the exclusivity deal announced last month between YouTube and Activision Blizzard. The former reportedly paid $160 million for the exclusive rights to broadcast Esports events related to Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Hearthstone for the next three years. According to Esports Observer, the majority of that sum was for the rights to Overwatch, the rest was for Call of Duty, and Hearthstone was basically an added bonus.
If the numbers are accurate, they aren't all that different from the previous exclusivity deal Twitch had. However, the deal with YouTube essentially offers more incentives based on the sale of advertising, and viewership rates. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the deal has on Twitch in the long run. Combined with the loss of famous streamers such as Ninja, time will certainly tell how the platform continues to remain competitive.
As part of the deal, Google Cloud will now be the preferred cloud services provider for Activision Blizzard. According to the publisher, Cloud will allow for low latency and better interactions for gamers.
Gamers, guess what? You "will experience low latency when playing high-fidelity games, in addition to better personalized interactions, given Activision Blizzard can use Google Cloud's AI tools to suggest curated in-game offers and gaming experiences." ↓ https://t.co/3k6w7MXDlv— Google Cloud (@googlecloud) February 14, 2020
The Activision Blizzard deal certainly shows Google's growing interest in the video game industry. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see whether or not Stadia will continue to play into the company's plans. The system's launch was nothing short of disastrous, and momentum seems to have slowed significantly for the platform. Still, if any company can continue to invest, it's Google. Microsoft has already stated that they see the company as one of their bigger competitors in the industry, as opposed to Nintendo and Sony, and it's easy to see why. Google clearly has the money to spend; whether that translates to the type of returns the company is hoping for remains to be seen.
What do you think of the Activision Blizzard deal with YouTube? Are you a fan of Overwatch League? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!