Revenue / 01.10.18
Overwatch League's Launch Tests Videogames as Franchise Sport
Original article published on the Wall Street Journal (01/10/18) by Sarah E. Needleman
The recent launch of Activision Blizzard's "Overwatch" video game league may mark a critical turning point in the e-sports domain's push to become a lucrative business competing with professional athletics. Activision Blizzard says it is following strategies to make Overwatch competitions watchable, such as by hiring broadcasters to communicate the on-screen action. The company estimates the video game has 35 million players, and the success of its new league will hinge on its ability to persuade gamers as well as outsiders to watch others play. "It will be just as common in the future to take your family to an 'Overwatch' game as it is to a Major League Baseball game," predicts Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer. Industry observers note much of the growth in e-sports viewership is on the Internet, driven by platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. Activision Blizzard announced a two-year agreement to stream Overwatch League matches on Twitch, while some league content also will be broadcast on Activision Blizzard's Major League Gaming platform. Newzoo calculates about 191 million global spectators watch e-sports tournaments at least once a month, more than twice the number of spectators recorded in 2012. Newzoo also forecasts e-sports will generate more than $1 billion in revenue from sponsorships, media rights, ticket sales, and other sources by 2019.
Read the full story on the Wall Street Journal website.
Tags: Sports , YouTube , Live-Streaming , News