Blizzard signs deal to bring Facebook Live to all its PC games

7 Jun 2016

Overwatch screenshot via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment – the company behind World of Warcraft and the recent smash hit Overwatch – knows which side its bread is buttered on, as it has signed a deal to bring Facebook Live to its PC games.

Since rolling out towards the end of last year, Facebook Live has been doing well, and now it’s cosying up to the booming e-gaming industry.

With estimates putting the amount of money generated by e-sports in 2016 at around $463m, Blizzard Entertainment’s latest announcement that it is to partner with Facebook to bring its live-streaming video service to all of its PC games seems like a no-brainer.

In the company’s announcement, Blizzard said that, beginning later this month, players will be given the option of logging into its series of games through Facebook, which in the short-term will allow players to share their successes in-game online.

However, in the longer-term, players will soon be able to ‘go live’ to stream their Blizzard gaming sessions directly to their Facebook timelines, and friends will be able to subscribe and be notified when new streams are available.

650m play games connected to Facebook every month

“Blizzard games are best when played with friends, so it’s important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other,” said Gio Hunt, executive vice president of corporate operations at Blizzard Entertainment.

“We’re working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses.”

This deal makes a lot of sense for both parties given that Blizzard will gain access to Facebook’s billion-plus users and the exposure that comes with it, while Facebook taps into the e-sports market.

Leo Olebe, global games partnerships director at Facebook, said in the statement that the social network is one of the largest gaming-connected platforms as more than 650m people play games connected to Facebook every month across web, mobile, and console.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic