A report has indicated that Activision Blizzard acquired a majority of MLG’s assets valued at $46 million.
While MLG is synonymous with pro gaming, it has been going through a rough time by constantly seeking debt financing to meet financial obligations. It recently lost the Call of Duty Pro League to rival ESL.
Back in October 2015, MLG co-founder, Mike Sepso, left the company to helm Activision Blizzard’s new eSports division along with former ESPN and NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein.
This was Activision’s second acquisition in the eSports world following its buyout of the IGN Pro League in 2013.
Activision’s eSport initiative is the company’s third pillar, joining Activision Publishing and Blizzard. The eSports division can monetize ad-revenue from Activision Blizzard’s immensely popular titles such as Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Star Craft 2, and Call of Duty.
Joost van Dreunen, CEO of digital games market analyst firm SuperData, said that the acquisition is an emerging trend of publishers with major online audiences seeking to diversify efforts across media channels.
According to the SuperData report, competitive gaming represents $748 million in revenue and that figure is expected to reach $1.9 billion in 2018.
Dreunen stated, “Following several other acquisitions and announcements from Activision, it is clear that the firm is evolving into a media conglomerate rather than a company that simply develops and publishes video games.”
“This is a consistent trend we have also observed elsewhere in the industry, with firms like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive, as the potential of ad-based revenue has come into focus,” he furthered.
This could help explain Activision’s mammoth $5.9 billion acquisition of Candy Crush developer King Digital. Videogame publishers are increasingly thinking of novel ways to maximize shareholder value.
Expect more publishers to invest in activities that supplement video games, especially in ad-based revenue.