Activision Blizzard Partner with YouTube Gaming
To say that it has been a difficult few months for Amazon and Twitch is an understatement. While more celebrity streamers migrate to Mixer, Twitch lost yet another large partner this past weekend. In a press release to PR Newsire, Activision Blizzard will partner with YouTube gaming for events, such as the Overwatch League, Call of Duty World League, and more. The multi-year partnership replaces Activision’s existing relationship with Amazon and Twitch.
According to Google’s chief of cloud 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.”
In response, Activision’s CIO Jacques Erasmus stated, “We’re excited to partner with Google to drive the next generation of gaming innovation for the industry. Google Cloud’s best-in-class infrastructure gives us the confidence to deliver great entertainment to our fans around the world.”
While Twitch is impacted, the Activision Blizzard decision to partner with YouTube is more about cloud gaming. Previously, Amazon used Amazon Web Services for its esport events, such as Overwatch League. Now the online giant will transition not only the streaming rights but also the cloud infrastructure to Google. So what does this mean for the gaming industry as a whole?
It is no secret that Google is struggling to gain a foothold in the gaming industry. Since the release of Stadia in November, critics and gamers have criticized the new platform. Most of the criticism centers around the following:
- Lack of content and predictable release schedule
- Confusing price model
- Lag despite solid Internet connection
- Difficult television setup
While Stadia has not produced the intended results, Activision’s decision to forgo its relationship with Amazon is interesting. Twitch remains a dominant streaming platform as indicated by the chart below:
Meanwhile, YouTube Gaming represents less than 20 percent of live video game streaming viewership. While YouTube gaming is still the second-most utilized platform, it is still just a fraction of the giant that is Amazon Twitch. In light of these details, what would prompt Activision Blizzard to partner with YouTube over its competitors?
The answer is likely very simple and involves the price of cloud streaming. Amazon’s domination in online video game streaming gave the company considerable leverage. For that reason, Amazon could charge a higher price for its cloud services. Knowing that Google is struggling to gain traction in the industry, Activision is likely paying a fraction of Amazon’s prices for access to Google’s cloud services. As Activision’s stock continues to from various scandals, the company is trying to cut costs. For that reason, the partnership between the two struggling companies begins to make sense. Google needs a partner to help increase Stadia users, and Activision needs to reduce its overhead.
Only time will tell if the new partnership will result in mutual benefits for both companies. Two sinking ships rarely lift each other to higher plateaus of success, but perhaps the Google and Activision partnership can help the companies regain credibility among fans of popular gaming communities.
But we want to know what you think. What do you think of the Activision Blizzard partner with YouTube gaming? Will you watch Activision’s esport events on YouTube?
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