The various rumors that surfaced on New Year’s have been confirmed: Activision Blizzard has officially acquired the business of Major League Gaming. In a press release on Monday, the company stated that MLG will “serve as the Foundation for Activision Blizzard’s eSports Broadcast Network.” Previous rumors suggested that the deal was for $46 million, though no official sales figure was announced today.
The obvious irony in this arrangement involves Mike Sespo, the current Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard’s newly assembled eSports network, who is one of the co-founders of MLG. Despite parting ways with MLG to join Activision Blizzard some time ago, Sespo believes that this match makes “perfect” sense:
“[MLG CEO and co-founder] Sundance [DiGiovanni] and I founded MLG to highlight the incredible talent of competitive gamers all over the world. Activision Blizzard’s eSports leadership, incredible intellectual property and long history in competitive gaming create a perfect home for MLG’s capabilities. The acquisition of MLG’s business is an important step towards Activision Blizzard Media Networks’ broader mission to bring eSports into the mainstream by creating and broadcasting premium eSports content, organizing global league play and expanding distribution with key gaming partners.”
With this deal, Activision has absorbed all of MLG’s eSports staff and operations, including renowned co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni, MLG.tv, MLG Pro Circuit, and GameBattles. Activision has stated that they’re not looking to change MLG’s current operating structure, but rather, broaden it. I believe the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach is the right way to go with an IP of this nature, however I question the relevance of MLG.tv in comparison to platforms like Twitch, so I hope that this acquisition finds a way to make the platform more viable.
Activision Blizzard has been making some noteworthy noise outside of their eSports endeavors lately, as well. They just concluded 2015 by acquiring King Digital, the studio behind Candy Crush, for a whopping $6 billion dollars. They also recently opened a TV and film studio, which will more than likely be the kitchen for most of their forthcoming eSports content. Now with this, I think it’s safe to assume that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick had one hell of a New Year’s celebration.
What are you thoughts on this recent acquistion? Is this good news for the eSports world? Tell us your thoughts down in the comments below.