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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : June 08, 2016

Facebook enters eSports arena

Facebook has teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment to enable the social network's users to livestream their online play on the newsfeed at the press of a button.

by Helen Leggatt

Blizzard Entertainment's retinue of games includes big eSports names such as Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III, Starcraft II and, most recently, Overwatch. A deal made between Blizzard and Facebook will see users able to live-stream their play to the newsfeed, and players can sign up to, and log in to, the games using their Facebook accounts.

The move puts Facebook into the eSports arena with Twitch and YouTube. Amazon bought Twitch for for $970 million two years ago and has since forged a burgeoning audience thanks to the demand for eSports and live stream technology.
By offering this service to its more than 1 billion users, Facebook will be looking to snatch a slice of Twitch's 100 million user-strong market share by offering gamers a larger audience to share their screens with.

Blizzard says it's working on adding "Go Live" streaming to its games. This means that players will be able to press a button and stream their gameplay live to their Facebook timeline, allowing any friends to watch and chat with them while they do so.

"Blizzard has a passionate community of players, and an incredible track record for launching innovative and high-quality gaming experiences," said Leo Olebe, global games partnerships director at Facebook. "Our collaboration on Overwatch demonstrates Facebook's commitment to partnering with AAA game companies, while further empowering Blizzard gamers to connect and share the content they're most passionate about with the friends they play with around the world."

Tags: eSports, games market, social media

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