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Overwatch League, Call of Duty League to exclusively stream on YouTube

Activision Blizzard and Google have entered a multi-year partnership to “power new player experiences,” and part of the deal is for the Overwatch League and the newly launched Call of Duty League to be exclusively streamed on YouTube.

YouTube will host Activision Blizzard’s official live broadcasts of its esports leagues, which started on January 24 for the launch weekend of the first season of the Call of Duty League with 12 teams. To follow suit will be the Overwatch League, which will kick off its 2020 season on February 8.

All of Activision Blizzard’s esports events will be livestreamed on each league’s dedicated YouTube channel, which will also offer fans archived videos and other special content.

“Both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are the quintessential examples of world-class esports content. As a former Call of Duty esports commentator myself, I couldn’t be more excited for Activision Blizzard to choose YouTube as its exclusive home for the digital live streaming of both leagues,” said Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s Head of Gaming, in a statement.

The Overwatch League’s move to YouTube is a blow to Twitch. The Amazon-owned video game streaming service paid $90 million to secure exclusive streaming rights for the league’s first two seasons, but it appears that Google lodged a more lucrative bid to sway Activision Blizzard towards YouTube.

It is also possible that Activision Blizzard made the decision to go with YouTube instead of Twitch due to the other incentives offered by a partnership with Google. The agreement between the two companies also includes Google Cloud being tapped to help enhance Activision Blizzard’s gaming infrastructure.

Twitch continues to hold the largest market share in video game livestreaming, but its dominance is slipping away. It held 67.1% of the market in 2018, but slipped to 61% in 2019. Twitch has been losing individual streamers, including the high-profile departures of Ninja and Shroud for Microsoft’s Mixer.

Twitch has reportedly failed to achieve its revenue goals, which has placed it in a difficult position. YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming, meanwhile, have Google’s and Facebook’s resources at their disposal, so the landscape of the video game streaming industry may further shift in the years to come.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is official and it’s coming this November
call of duty modern warfare iii release date makarov mwiii

Activision has confirmed a November 10 release date for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III with a teaser trailer following a barrage of leaks.
The shooter, which is going to be a direct sequel to 2022's Modern Warfare II, was the subject of lots of reports and leaks prior to this announcement. Reports from Bloomberg revealed that this game was originally going to be a Modern Warfare II expansion, but it later got upgraded to a full game. Then, over the summer, more game details started to leak before some Monster Energy advertisements revealed the game's title prematurely. Activision coyly acknowledged this leak on Twitter at the time, but finally pulled the curtain back on the project today with a video titled "Modern Warfare III is Coming."
Modern Warfare III is Coming
It begins with some green soundwaves on-screen and a lot of radio chatter in the background. Then, the soundwaves turn from green to red before the perspective then pushes into them, creating a trippy red void. In there, we briefly see waveform images of a snake and Captain Price before he says, "Never bury your enemies alive" over the silhouette of a new character. This is believed to be Vladimir Makarov, the villain of the original Modern Warfare trilogy, who was teased in the post-credit scene for last year's campaign. After all of that, the title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is confirmed, as is the release date of November 10.

This date falls right in line with the late October to early November window in which Call of Duty games usually come out. It also places its launch after Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition is expected to be complete, so it looks like this may be the first Call of Duty game released under Microsoft. Other than that date, official details on the game are fairly scarce. Thankfully, we shouldn't have to wait too much longer to learn more.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III launches on November 10. 

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Call of Duty: Warzone devs share the design secrets of the best battle royale map
Overhead shot of Vondel map in Warzone.

The Vondel map in Call of Duty: Warzone is one of the best battlegrounds in the history of the battle royale genre. It's a small-scale, densely packed map with a wide variety of points of interest (POIs) that feel distinct. Modeled after European cities, Vondel is a feat of level design as it simultaneously feels fun and functional. It's a city that you can truly imagine as a real place, with a slew of different shops to enter, a canal, and even a water taxi service that moves throughout the map.

But behind the scenes, there are countless design choices that help the flow and pacing of the map. To get a better sense of just what makes this map work so well, I spoke with Beenox Senior Level Designer Fred Wilson and Lead Artist Guillaume Alain. The duo revealed how Vondel's composition seeps into the players' subconscious, with intuitive design choices that work better than any Warzone map that's come before.
Pacing is king

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III has seemingly leaked thanks to Monster
Five main characters from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.

It looks like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III will be the title of this year's Call of Duty game. Following several leaks, including an undeniable one connected to Monster Energy, a joking tweet from the official Call of Duty Twitter account appears to confirm that this is true.
Leaks suggesting that 2023's Call of Duty game is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III have existed for months, but ramped up recently. On July 17, the Call of Duty Twitter account put up tweets asking if Operators, weapons, and bundles from Modern Warfare II should carry over to this year's game and teasing that a big reveal would happen alongside the unveiling of Season 5. Later that day, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier stated that this is a Sledgehammer Games-led project that started as an expansion and morphed into a full game.
Then, Monday morning, images of Monster Energy promotional materials connected to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III emerged on Twitter, giving us confirmation of the name and our first look at the game's logo.

A leak like this is pretty difficult to deny, so Activision decided to play along with it. "Whew. Mondays," the official Call of Duty account tweeted. "Anyone have an energy drink they can spare?"
While not a traditional, explicit announcement, this tweet confirms the validity of the Monster Energy leak and affirms that this year's Call of Duty will be a direct follow-up to 2022's Modern Warfare II. Now, we'll just have to wait and see when Activision decides to officially reveal more about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III itself. 
Because it's not officially announced yet, we don't know what Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III's release date or launch platforms are. Still, it's likely that it will launch across PC, PlayStation, and Xbox sometime this October or November after Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition closes. 

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