According to a report from ESPN, Blizzard is looking at bumping up the fees investors would have to pay to establish new teams for the next season of the Overwatch League. Blizzard has said previously that they’d like to expand the roster of teams, as well as international appeal for the league over the coming years.
The reports cites estimated costs in $35-$60 million range for investors to setup and register a team. This is much higher than the current estimated costs of $20-$30 million for the current season, a pricetag which has already turned off many international investors. And even though the Overwatch League has attracted some high-profile sponsors, and even though Overwatch has millions of worldwide players; there’s a lot of things that Blizzard can do better to appeal to outside money and talent.
ESPN explains that European and Asian investors see investments like Overwatch League much differently than their American counterparts. European investors want the Overwatch League to offer more security, South Korean investors don’t see that the Overwatch League will help their businesses, and Chinese investors don’t have experience in the eSports field and some of them see potential conflicts of interest.
For example, South Korean companies and those in other regional markets see little benefit in advertising with a global league, when eSports in their home territories may be much more lucrative.
Twitch did pay millions for exclusive streaming rights for the league games, but those kinds of cash injections aren’t a constant for Blizzard, and can’t be relied on to improve investor relations long-term. The league got a reported $90 million, two-year Twitch deal, and its two-year deals with HP Omen and Intel are worth $17 million and $10 million, respectively, sources said.
As time goes on, we may see more investors jumping into the ring with Blizzard, but right now that cost just seems too high for many.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.