×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Esports Could Fuel Explosive Activision Blizzard Growth

Activision Blizzard’s financial future is looking bullish thanks to its esports initiatives, according to Morgan Stanley. The investment bank thinks the video game publisher’s revenue could reach $12.9 billion, up from previous estimates of $8.6 billion.

Morgan Stanley attributes this growth to a number of factors. The Overwatch League (OWL) is performing well, for one. Its audiences are twice as big as expected, which could lead to higher revenue. A bigger fan base also translates into larger live events and merchandise sales. The bank also believes that Activision Blizzard is exceeding its maximum expectations on its Twitch streaming contract.

A “Call of Duty” esports league could be next, Morgan Stanley said, and that franchise’s player base is at least two times larger than “Overwatch’s.” The bank expects to see a “CoD” esports franchise in early 2019, and said such a league could generate $105 million in revenue in 2020.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down the professional and amateur sports protection act (PASPA) and pave the way for sports betting in the U.S. could also provide Activision Blizzard with a new revenue stream. Morgan Stanley sees the publisher earning a potential $17 million in gambling revenue in 2020, since it estimates 30% of esports viewers could wager about $20 to $40 annually across OWL/CWL events.

Activision Blizzard reported a first-quarter record of $1.97 billion in net revenue earlier this month, up 14% compared to the same period last year. It also said first-quarter profit rose to $500 million from $426 million in 2017. It added that the rise in revenue and profit illustrates the “enduring nature of our franchises and our shift to a games-as-a-service model.”

More Gaming

  • 'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R.

    'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin Consults on Video Game

    George R. R. Martin, the famed author of the “Game of Thrones” book series, has consulted on an upcoming video game currently being developed in Japan, this according to a blog post from the author which lays out the work he is now up to in the wake of the HBO television series finale. “I’m [...]

  • PlayStation Team Caught Off Guard By

    PlayStation Team Caught Off Guard By Sony, Microsoft Deal (Report)

    Last week, Sony and Microsoft surprised the gaming community by announcing a strategic partnership where they will work together on cloud technology. Apparently, no one was more shocked than the PlayStation team, who were blindsided by the deal, according to a report by Bloomberg. Negotiations between Sony and Microsoft began last year and were handled [...]

  • Phil Spencer

    Xbox Chief Phil Spencer Outlines Plan to Combat Online Toxicity

    Head of Xbox Phil Spencer outlined new plans to combat toxicity and promote online safety in a post on the Microsoft Blog on Monday. Spencer believes in two fundamental truths about gaming, he said. One, that gaming is for everyone and, two, gaming must promote and protect everyone’s safety. “No one group ‘owns’ gaming,” Spencer [...]

  • Oculus Quest Gets Netflix App, But

    Oculus Quest Will Have Netflix, but Not Plex or HBO

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is launching with a number of high-profile gaming titles this Tuesday. Media apps on the other hand will take a bit of backseat, with some key players sitting this latest headset out for the time being. First, the good news for anyone who has pre-ordered the headset: One of the [...]

  • Sony Interactive Launches Film, TV Studio

    Sony Interactive Launches Film, TV Studio to Adapt Video Game Projects

    Sony Interactive recently launched PlayStation Productions, a studio tasked with adapting the company’s video game properties into films and television shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter. PlayStation Productions is headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by SIE chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden. It’s reportedly already working on its first slate of projects on the [...]

  • Watch YouTuber Play VR Game 'Apex

    Watch YouTuber Play VR Game 'Apex Construct' on a Football Field

    “Apex Construct” developer Fast Travel Games recently teamed up with YouTube content creator Jugon Virtual to show off the virtual reality adventure game’s motion mechanic on a large football field. Using the standalone Ocululs Quest headset and body motion exclusively to navigate the game world, Virtual covered a total area of 6050m2 while playing, Fast [...]

  • Double Fine's Apocalyptic Rogue-Like 'Rad' Coming

    Double Fine's Apocalyptic Rogue-Like 'Rad' Coming August 20

    Double Fine Productions’ upcoming 3D rogue-like “Rad” is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC on August 20, the developer announced Monday. Set in a post-post apocalyptic world in which humanity has faced the end of the world twice over, players take on the role of a teen protagonist who is forced [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content