Call of Duty esports franchises may cost owners $25 million

Call of Duty is aiming to kick off its esports league next year, but franchises won't be cheap, with franchises rumored to cost owners $25 million.

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Activision Blizzard has seen great success in putting together full-fledged esports leagues, with the Overwatch League continuing to grow in its second season. Now the publishing giant looks to parlay this success into Call of Duty with the upcoming Call of Duty esports league. Activision has begun the sales process for city-based franchises, but those who want to jump in will not find the entry point to be cheap.

Call of Duty World League - Evil Geniuses
2018 Call of Duty World League champions Evil Geniuses (Credit: Joe Brady)

According to a report by ESPN Esports' Jacob Wolf, the franchise price tag currently sits are $25 million for each team. Activision Blizzard has already begun meeting with interested parties, some of which include organizations with established franchises in the Overwatch League. Those with teams currently in the Overwatch League will have first right of negotiation for their home market. Prospective buyers have 14 days to issue a non-binding indication of interest. Behind the Overwatch League team owners, one would imagine that esports team owners with squads already entrenched in the Call of Duty ecosystem will express interest, such as 2018 CWL World Champions Evil Geniuses.

Activision's plans for a Call of Duty esports league come in the middle of the biggest Call of Duty World League season to date. The 2019 season is offering a massive $6 million prize pool over the course of the season. Activision is also tinkering with the traditional format, with the 2019 campaign being the first to operate with five-person teams. Activision also revealed its plans to open up a new amateur league that's set to play out at Call of Duty World League LAN events throughout the year.

Activision Blizzard is aiming to kick off its new Call of Duty esports league in 2020. Plans of the league were first revealed in a February earnings call, which were ultimately overshadowed under the pall of hundreds of layoffs. Of course, there are still a lot of blanks to be filled before the league can kick off, including any venues where competition would ultimately play out. Shacknews will monitor this situation as it plays out.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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