It has been a stormy start to the year for Blizzard. If the news of having lost a gigantic market by having to Shut down your game servers in China was not enough, now the company will have to face a collective bargaining prepared by the teams of the overwatch league against the league.
The main exponent of Blizzard esports is in serious trouble, as a report of the journalist Jacob Wolf assures that the majority of league teams have already hired a British law firm to start a collective bargaining process against Activision Blizzardas many years of high operating costs and broken promises have passed in the Overwatch League.
BREAKING: The majority of @overwatchleague Teams have hired a British law firm to collectively bargain against Activision Blizzard amid growing frustrations around operation costs, lackluster viewership and a distinct lack of a path to profitability. https://t.co/fPE8U7RGv7
—Jacob Wolf (@JacobWolf) January 18, 2023
LAST MINUTE: Most of @overwatchleague teams hired a British law firm to collectively bargain against Activision Blizzard amid growing frustrations around operating costs, lackluster viewership and a clear lack of a path to profitability.
What are Overwatch League teams looking for?
Basically, the teams are looking for receive some type of financial compensation to promote the sustainability of the league. It is known that each team invested close to 10 million in franchise payments during the last 6 years and up to 1 million annually in operating costs, which means about 16 million investment in a league that does not look to have profitability in sight.
The initiative to start a class action against Activision Blizzard was taken by OverActive Media, the owners of the Toronto Defiant team. Jacob Wolf’s analysis reflects that despite the fact that the operating cost of the teams is lower compared to other esports leagues, one of the main problems is that the overwatch league presented one of the highest cost franchise purchases in history.
The Overwatch professional league has been going through great difficulties, from the impact of the pandemic to the loss of big sponsors like Coca-Cola, Kellogs, Pringles and State Farm in the middle of the sexual harassment and discrimination scandals that was inside Blizzard a couple of years ago. The negotiations around the platforms that broadcast the league have also been a factor that has led to the drop in audience and difficulties of the Overwatch League.