YouTube Deal With Activision Blizzard Valued At $160M
The deal between YouTube and Activision Blizzard includes titles Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Hearthstone, and is valued at $160M.
YouTube announced an exclusive deal with Activision on the day of the Call of Duty League’s launch weekend. Many were shocked by the sudden move from Twitch. The deal, which includes Activision titles Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Hearthstone, has been valued at around $160 million over three years.
The previous deal Activision had for specifically the Overwatch League was valued at about $90 million for two years. Sources have claimed that the majority of the money is funneled toward the Overwatch League, with a lesser amount dedicated toward the Call of Duty League. Hearthstone was said to be a “free throw-in” for YouTube.
Incentive clauses for ad sales and viewership targets are said to be why figures in the leagues included are pleased with the deal. Considering Twitch provided a larger audience pool, this is good news for Activision’s esports leagues. In addition to league exclusivity, Google Cloud will now offer cloud computing services to Activision Blizzard.
Endeavor Senior VP/Esports Stuart Saw wrote in an email, “From a macro market perspective, this a big moment in esports history. This is the first time a tier one western game developer has gone exclusive with one of its products off of Twitch since ironically Activision did so with Call of Duty fiveish years ago. For YouTube, it’s a real statement of intent for them to bolster a growing product.”
He added, “If you look across Google, YouTube, Cloud, Stadia, Ads — gaming is a big vertical for them. Externally, this is one of the first examples where Google’s cross-group strategy has been immediately obvious. The right hand is complimenting the left. This is a big, headline acquisition and proof of concept for both Cloud and YouTube. They’ll both be looking to use this as a case study against Amazon’s AWS and Twitch across the market.”
This is an interesting move for Activision, and it remains to be said just how much this deal will impact Twitch. According to Saw, “everything feels a little different right now: the rights industry has never been more competitive, and the volume of competing streaming platforms suggests we may, for the first time, be moving toward a fragmented market.”