Game publisher Activision is looking to expand the eSports audience and allow for multi-player games to go directly from consoles to online.
Activision recently announced that Call of Duty: Black Ops II will include a new live-streaming feature, allowing players to stream gameplay on to Youtube directly from their Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles. It is the first time a feature like this has been implemented into a console game. Treyarch’s new system will also let players live-stream webcam and audio commentary while playing to offer the true eSports feel.
Additionally, anyone watching the stream will be able to view all of the players performance data and career stats, as well as chat and comment as spectators. Mark Lamia of Treyarch Studios says of this new feature:
With our competitive play and eSports initiatives, we wanted to deliver live streaming capabilities built right into Call of Duty: Black Ops II, because Call of Duty is not only fun and exciting to play, but we believe it will be just as exciting to watch…By making the capability of live streaming as accessible as possible to our fans, straight from a player’s console without the need for any additional hardware or sophisticated setups, we are empowering our fans to share their multiplayer experiences.
Competitive multiplayer games, such as industry standard Call of Duty, are what make the world of eSports a reality in the United States. Although not yet anywhere near the level of popularity in some other countries, such as the game Starcraft in Korea where tournaments will attract big name sponsors, tens of thousands of screaming fans, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money, eSports is a fast growing industry in the US. Activision is looking to make strong moves in to this market with Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
The game is planned for release on November 11th, 2012.