Twitch is the de facto spot on the internet for watching games. Whet5her those be from professional and amateur streamers, or for professionally-broadcast gaming leagues. That’s changing a bit, as Activision has inked a deal with Google that’ll see the video game company jump exclusively to using Google-based tech for its gaming. Not only will Activision’s multiplayer games be hosted on Google’s Cloud, but its streaming proclivities for events and leagues will be exclusive to YouTube. That means Hearthstone, Call of Duty, Overwatch and future games will use YouTube for broadcast.
This partnership begins today and will run through 2020.
“We’ve worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience,” said Sunil Rayan, Head of Gaming, Google Cloud. “We are excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world.”
Games will use Google’s Cloud for hosting services. There’s no word on whether current games that use other services will shit towards Google Cloud, or if they’ll only affect games released this year and beyond. Either way, there’s no Google Cloud datacentre within proximity for us, nor are there any planned ones, so this isn’t very good news for those of us on the tip of Africa.
“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,” said Jacques Erasmus, Chief Information Officer, Activision Blizzard.
Around the world, as long as you exclude “Africa.” Anyway “YouTube will host the official live broadcasts of Activision Blizzard’s popular esports leagues and events including the newly created Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, Hearthstone Esports,” and of course more. That includes the Call of Duty Leagues which kicked off last week.
“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,” said Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming, YouTube. “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.”
It’s funny. We’ve clamoured for local servers and services for so long. We now have Azure datacentres and AWS ones being implemented this year – and then Activision aligns to the one cloud datacentre that has no African presence, nor any planned presence for the near future. Anyway, YouTube Gaming has been trying to grab a bit of the limelight from Twitch for ages. With some of Twitch’s biggest stars leaving for greener pastures, now’s possibly the right time.