Activision Blizzard announce plans to franchise CWL
Activision has finally confirmed that they will be launching a city-based franchised league for Call of Duty. This decision comes after months of rumours and speculation.
Following the footsteps of Overwatch
It’s no surprise that Activision Blizzard wanted to franchise their professional Call of Duty league. This is due to the success that they witnessed in the inaugural season of the Overwatch League is 2018.
This confirmation of a franchised league format came in during the company’s Q4 earnings call. However, the secret has been horribly kept for quite some time. The only cause for concern right now is that they have provided any details for when they plan to implement this.
Just hours before the company’s Q4 earnings call began, Hitmarker leaked more information. They listed a job opportunity for a new Brand Manager who “will help manage the look and feel of the Call of Duty World league with franchise owners, broadcasters and other external partners.”
Overwatch franchises get priority
In June last year, it was reported that the owners of Overwatch League franchise teams would have the opportunity to negotiate first when it comes to having a Call of Duty franchise. Meaning we could very easily see the same franchises from Overwatch making their way over to Call of Duty.
Last year the Overwatch League kicked off. It is also a city-based competition that consisted of 12 teams originally. Following the conclusion of Season 1, Activision Blizzard opened an extra eight expansion slots to be filled before Season 2 kicked off this year.
These spots were reported to cost between $30-60 million. Those that joined as expansion teams had to pay more than the original 12 teams did.
We can expect this premium to be incorporated for the Call of Duty franchise spots as well, maybe slightly less as Overwatch has managed higher consistent viewership in recent times.
During the earnings call, Activision Blizzard’s CEO made this comment:
“We also intend to build on our experience with the Overwatch League to launch a professional, city-based Call of Duty league that drives franchise engagement and represents a sizeable incremental economic opportunity.”