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Overwatch's new eSports franchise fee hits $20 million

Blizzard pisses off professional Overwatch teams
By: Anthony Garreffa | Gaming News | Posted: May 12, 2017 4:20 am

UPDATE: Blizzard has officially confirmed the $20 million Overwatch League registration fee report is false, and cautions gamers about trusting unnamed sources. Blizzard delivered the following clarifying statement to Glixel:

 

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"We appreciate that there's a lot of enthusiasm about the Overwatch League, which has translated into months of speculation - including reports circulating unverified and wildly ranging rumors from anonymous sources about purported deal terms, team pricing, and other details. We understand the interest in the rumors, and we feel it's important to clarify some things for our community.

 

"First, we want to be clear that our ultimate goal is to create an exciting Overwatch esports ecosystem, the pinnacle of which will be the Overwatch League, that's accessible to a wide audience, sustainable, and rewarding for everyone involved. We're doing our best to take great care with building this ecosystem, and as with much of what we do, we don't release information until we're at a place where it makes sense to do so.

 

"Second, we'd like to dispel any rumors that we're ignoring endemics. Anyone who knows Blizzard understands how deeply we care about the communities around our games. The league is built upon the best elements of endemic esports programs and traditional sports, and we're in active discussions with many teams and owners from both worlds because it will take a village to stand up a league with such an unprecedented structure. Those conversations have been going well and there's a lot of excitement around our ambitious plans.

 

"Finally, it's important to think twice about statements from unnamed sources, who may try to leverage the media to deliberately spread misinformation as bargaining tactics or for other competitive reasons. We look forward to officially sharing real details about the league and the ecosystem as a whole as we continue the development process. In the meantime we are staying focused on our goal of creating an awesome Overwatch esports experience for players, partners, and fans, and we want to thank everyone for their continued support."

 

Original story is as follows.

 

Blizzard has stepped on a landmine when it comes to Overwatch, with the developer announcing its official Overwatch League (OWL) and it has some pretty steep costs for the franchise ownership stages, which are weighing the odds towards Blizzard in a big way.

 

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It looks as though some professional eSports teams are looking at a mind blowing $20 million franchise fee for city-specific official Overwatch teams, something that's required if you want to participate in OWL games. If you're in big cities like NYC and LA, those costs will only continue to swell.

 

ESPN reports that once the fee has been paid to Blizzard, eSports teams aren't guaranteed any revenue at all until 2021... and that's if Blizzard meets financial targets. There's reportedly a clause that sees Blizzard recouping 25% of the revenue from any sale of a franchise to a third-party, after the initial purchase. Some of the world's largest eSports teams are already reversing out of OWL, which isn't good at all - but $20 million up front costs in big cities? What's going on, Blizzard?!

NEWS SOURCES:Gamesindustry.biz, Vg247.com

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