Blizzard’s Overwatch League stands to make more than $100 million in base annual revenue, with $720 million being the best-case figure if everything goes well.
Here’s what we know about the Overwatch League so far.
That’s according to a report by investment management firm Morgan Stanley. For context, annual revenue of $720 million is comparable to the WWE, and 20% more than Major League Soccer.
As noted though, this is the best-case scenario in Morgan Stanley’s matrix of possible outcomes, with optimal results along the two axes of monetisation and audience size. It assumes the Overwatch League will operate with double the number of teams it’s currently considering – 32 instead of 16 – and that Activision-Blizzard successfully position the Major League Gaming network as an ‘ESPN’ of eSports.
Morgan Stanley also consider high monetisation but no audience – ‘a niche following’ in which only hardcore gamers pay up – and high audience but no monetisation, in which gamers just watch for free. The worst-case outcome, ‘it’s a fad’, estimates that Overwatch will earn only $20 million a year.
The report estimates that 17 million of Overwatch’s 25 million registered players are active monthly users, which is a fantastic retention rate. For Morgan Stanley’s base case for the Overwatch League, Activision-Blizzard need 72,000 average active viewers for the regular season, and 7.7 million for the playoffs. For the bull case, they need 75,000 for the season and 12 million for the playoffs.
Thanks, Dot eSports.