Activision Blizzard Is Still Owed Around $400 Million In Payments For Overwatch And Call Of Duty Leagues
Will these fees actually be paid, or will they be pushed back until 2024?
COVID-19 has affected many companies and industries, so much so that Annual payments for both the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League were deferred in the fall of 2020 when Activision Blizzard pushed them back to fall 2022 as a part of its COVID relief measures for teams according to The Washington Post.
As of now, Activision Blizzard is still owed between $390 and $420 million in franchise payments from the teams who participated in the OWL and CDL. According to sources, the 20 franchises in the OWL owe the publisher roughly $6 to $7.5 million each, which would be around $120-150 million total.
Then, ESPN reported that in the CDL, teams owe an average of $22.5 million each. About $2.5 million was paid initially prior to the COVID outbreak in 2020. It is also said that the payment terms for Call of Duty varied, with the franchise price starting at $25 million. Now there is a discussion to potentially put the payments off even longer, potentially to early 2024.
There was a time that former Activision Blizzard head of esports Brandon Snow proposed the idea of waiving all outstanding franchise payments. However, it looks as if Activision Blizzard has not, and will not, alter any payment terms until after the pending Microsoft deal closes in mid-2023.
The OWL also lost several of its sponsors after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit was filed against Activision Blizzard that argued that the company knowingly allowed sexual misconduct for many years. Some of the sponsors that paused their advertisements were Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and State Farm.
With Activision Blizzard facing so many issues recently, it is hard to believe that the company would waive outstanding fees like it was first suggested by Snow. Again, the real decisions will follow after the Microsoft deal has officially finalized. Until then, Activision Blizzard should figure out how to make the expensive esports teams survive during the difficult years to come. If readers would like to read more, please check out The Jacob Wolf Report for more information on this topic.
About the Author
Aspen is an avid gamer currently residing in Japan. She is most attracted to games narrative design and is a huge fan of player choice in games. If Aspen is not playing games, she is most certainly writing about them.
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