Activision Blizzard and Google are both titans of industry (albeit Google is on a whole other level), so when they announced a multi-year strategic partnership this past Friday, it should come as no surprise. Google, who only recently entered the gaming industry with its Google Stadia game-streaming platform, has every reason to solidify its industry ties.
Activision Blizzard makes for an obvious partnership, being the largest game company in the Americas and Europe in terms of both revenue and market capitalization. With major IPs under its very-large belt, including both the premium games market and the much more lucrative mobile market (no, really), Activision Blizzard is a prime candidate to expand Google’s influence in the gaming industry.
The press release announced that Google Cloud will serve as the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure, and that YouTube will serve as its exclusive streaming partner, worldwide, for its e-sports leagues and events (excluding China, whose state-run industry requires licensing western products to Chinese conglomerates).
This is an exciting year for Activision Blizzard Esports as we head into the inaugural season of Call of Duty League and our first ever season of homestands for Overwatch League all around the world. It’s our mission to deliver high-quality competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and to celebrate our players as the superstars that they are.Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports
Google has long used its ability to create a strong foundation for other companies to build upon to spread its influence, as it did with its now-dominant Android mobile OS way back in the 2000s. With hundreds of millions of active monthly users, Activision Blizzard stands to gain substantially from Googles infrastructure which is uniquely (okay, almost uniquely) designed to handle such intensive use.
Google will be able to deliver the low-latency, high-bandwidth connections required to power a seamless player experience, as well as market-leading data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities. On the video streaming end of things, YouTube is an obvious choice:
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.Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming for YouTube LLC
While the relationship doesn’t specifically benefit Google’s own gaming platform or game industry endeavours, the tech giant has long seen primary product marketing as second to building an irreplaceable industry foundation. With its Google Cloud and YouTube data centers powering major brands like Activision Blizzard as well as its own Google Stadia platform, Google stands to benefit on multiple fronts as its own infrastructure becomes synonymous with the industry’s at large.