Posted Thu Oct 22, 2015 at 06:51 AM PDT by Brian Hoss
This is happening.
The signs are there for anyone to read, and the frequency and size of the related deals keeps increasing. Today, Activision Blizzard, one the biggest entertainment forces on the planet, issued the kind of announcement that is hard for those that follow the industry to ignore.
ATVI has announced the creation of a new division dedicated to competitive gaming. This new arm of the company will be all about eSports, and will be run by former CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network Steve Bornstein (as the Chairman) and former MLG co-founder and president Mike Sepso (as Senior Vice President).
From the new division's Chairman Steve Bornstein, "Last year, Activision Blizzard created entertainment that was viewed and played by over 150 million people for more than 13 billion hours. I believe esports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues in terms of future opportunities, and between advertising, ticket sales, licensing, sponsorships and merchandising, there are tremendous growth areas for this nascent industry. I'm excited to help Activision Blizzard further its leadership position in esports."
From the new Senior VP Mike Sepso, "As a member of the esports community for over 12 years, I couldn't be more excited for the future of the sport. I am confident that the company's industry-leading content will capture the many opportunities we have to entertain and celebrate our players. Activision Blizzard is uniquely positioned to give millions of fans around the world what they want, and I'm excited to help support this community in a way that honors its history."
What players can expect from this move is that the company that develops and publishes 'Call of Duty,' 'Hearthstone,' 'StarCraft,' 'Skylanders,' 'Heroes of the Storm,' etc. (as well as publishing Bungie's 'Destiny') will be looking about to further integrate eSports and game-streaming into all of their games. 'Destiny' has been cited as the most watched console game on Twitch.
Expect further announcements from this division once the 2016 cycle starts.
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