E Sports is one of the things that just came out of nowhere and swept everyone off their feet. The buzz surrounding this new form of competitive gaming is at an all time high and every company wants to cash in on it. Recently, Activision has announced a league for Call of Duty as the game is set to become the latest title to enter the competitive stages.
Call of Duty is arguably the best selling franchise of all time. The title is insanely popular and Activision has been rolling out new variants every year. The game has become a cultural phenomenon, and whether you like it or not, there’s no denying its presence. Despite all of that fan frenzy, the mobile version for Call of Duty failed to make much impact, with PubG ahead of its competition by miles.
Banking on that mobile popularity, PubG then instantly went into Esports and has since held multiple PubG events worldwide. Now Activision doesn’t want to be a laggard once again and hence the league. This new Call of Duty league is set to launch next Friday, and the company expects several thousand fans to attend this 3 day event in Minneapolis.
This is Activision’s attempt to dominate the E Sports market, and that is why the company has brought forth its front runner in the field. Activision already owns the Overwatch league, which is a competitive spin on the insanely popular vibrant team-based shooter set on a near-future earth.
“Strategically, it’s about Activision positioning itself at the top of the esports ecosystem and making sure its titles have staying power on the competitive scene,” said Matthew Kanterman, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Overwatch league booked a $100 million of the estimated $6.4 billion that Activision reeled in last year. With Call of Duty having a bigger base and hence more opportunity, it is expected to leave Activision thrice as much, netting $300 million.
Part of the revenue may also come from broadcasting rights that the company is expected to sell to Sony Corp.’s PlayStation, Logitech International SA’s Astro Gaming and the U.S. Air Force.
While it is expected that it will take 3 to 5 years for the Call of Duty league to become big, it is a massive opportunity. According to Newzoo, the esports industry saw its first $1 billion year in 2019. The report estimates the esports market will reach $1.8 billion by 2022 on its current trajectory, while a more optimistic scenario places broad esports revenues at $3.2 billion.
Other companies like Ubisoft have also entered this market, with its entry Rainbow Six Siege that is going on right now in Montreal, Canada and offers a prize pool of $3 million.