Google and Activision Blizzard recently announced a landmark partnership that could put game streaming platform, Twitch, in hot water.
YouTube will be Activision Blizzard’s exclusive streaming partner globally, excluding China. So, don’t expect to see Hearthstone Esports, Overwatch League or Call of Duty League on Twitch anymore (via Cision).
Google Cloud will also be introduced as Activision Blizzard’s preferred provider of game hosting infrastructure.
Jacques Erasmus, Chief Information Officer at Activision Blizzard said:”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.”
Another result of the partnership will see YouTube host official live broadcasts of Activision Blizzard’s most popular esports tournaments.
Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s Head of Gaming, commented: “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.
“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.”
This is a huge setback for Amazon-owned platform, Twitch. The Overwatch League is the second most viewed channel on the platform – fans have watched over 80 million hours of the channel since January 2019. Losing it to YouTube is a huge blow as a result and could have a sizeable negative impact on Twitch’s popularity.