Activision Blizzard has revealed it is to bring live eSports events to Facebook, as video viewing on the social platform continues to rise. The move carries a great deal of weight considering the wealth of popular eSports titles the company is responsible for, including Hearthstone, Call of Duty, Heroes of the Storm and upcoming shooter Overwatch.
The gaming giant's Media Networks unit made the announcement (via Phys.org) as part of its plans to increase awareness of eSports and help grow competitive gaming's already huge audience. A recent report stated that by the end of 2016 more than one billion people will have at least heard of eSports.
Mike Sepso, senior VP of the unit, said: "The size of the audience and the rapid pace of video consumption on Facebook has a lot of advertisers interested in it. And it generates a lot of new users to our owned-and-operated platforms." Sepso refused to say whether Activision Blizzard was one of the companies Facebook is paying to use its live video tool.
The company's video production team will tailor highlight videos of eSports events to different social outlets including Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, depending on the length of video each platform allows and the kind of audiences they attract. Sepso said the company may have to cover one story "in seven or eight way".
Activision Blizzard is also ready to utilise a new broadcasting tool that will automatically notify viewers of various statistical findings it discovers relating to the action that's unfolding – such as the use of a certain gun in Call of Duty. Those producing the broadcasts will be able to pick and choose which stats are displayed on screen.
The first event to be published live on Facebook – a two day Call of Duty tournament – begins on 10 June.