While at the time Activision Blizzard didn’t specify the terms of its recent livestreaming deal with YouTube, it’s now thought the “exclusive worldwide third-party provider” arrangement is worth $160 million (£122m).
Two years after it signed a similar deal with Twitch, Activision Blizzard confirmed last month it had pivoted to YouTube for a “multi-year strategic relationship” that makes Google the developer/publisher’s “exclusive worldwide third-party provider” for livestreaming.
The comparable partnership struck with Twitch just a couple of years earlier in January 2018 was thought to be worth around $90 million.
As reported by The Esports Observer – which says it’s spoken to sources briefed on the terms of “the broader new strategic partnership between Google and the video game company” – the deal is also thought to include “significant incentive clauses for ad sales and viewership targets”.
Google Cloud will serve as the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure and YouTube as its exclusive streaming partner worldwide (excluding China, that is). This means YouTube, not Twitch, will host the live broadcasts of the inaugural Call of Duty League season, plus Overwatch League’s 2020 season, which kicked off earlier this month – a massive coup for YouTube given it had been struggling to compete with industry leaders Twitch and Mixer.
“With more than 200 million gamers a day watching more than 50 billion hours of gaming content per year, YouTube provides gamers and their passionate fans with the most popular video gaming platform in the world,” Ryan Wyatt, head of gaming, YouTube, said at the time.
“Both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are the quintessential examples of world class esports content. As a former Call of Duty esports commentator myself, I couldn’t be more excited for Activision Blizzard to choose YouTube as its exclusive home for the digital live streaming of both leagues. This partnership further demonstrates our dedication to having a world-class live streaming product for gaming.”