Google today announced a multi-year strategic relationship with a big game developer that spans various parts of the company. Google Cloud will become Activision Blizzard’s preferred provider for game hosting as YouTube becomes the exclusive live eSports streaming partner.
The deal strives to “power new player experiences” for the game developer’s hundreds of millions of monthly active users. In selecting Google Cloud, Activision Blizzard cites a “highly reliable global footprint, advanced data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.”
Players will benefit by experiencing premium network quality-of-service, including low latency and packet loss when playing high-fidelity games on any device. They will also have optimal personalized interactions, as Activision Blizzard can tap into Google Cloud’s AI tools to offer curated recommendations for in-game offers and differentiated gaming experiences.
The two companies previously worked on mobile titles and analytics. As the preferred cloud provider, Google will be responsible for Activision Blizzard’s gaming infrastructure. Meanwhile, Alphabet division DeepMind has worked with Blizzard on an AI that surpasses humans in StarCraft II.
Meanwhile, YouTube will now host Activision Blizzard’s eSports leagues and events. This includes livestreams by the Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, and Hearthstone Esports channels, as well as “archived and other special content.” Given YouTube’s lack of presence, today’s deal does not apply to China.
This partnership begins today and will continue over the course of 2020. YouTube Gaming wants to compete with the likes of Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook Gaming. It already has 200 million signed-in users watching gaming content daily. This results in 50 billion hours of watch-time for gaming-related videos ever year, while 35 million people in 2019 uploaded a related video.
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