IBM will manage the technology for Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League in a sign that esports is starting to demand the most sophisticated cloud and AI technologies. The idea is to put esports on the road to being a mainstream phenomenon alongside traditional sports.
This is the kind of marriage that we can expect to see more of in the future as gaming and entertainment demand high-end technologies from AI to cloud computing.
In a multi-year deal, IBM is teaming up with Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest players in the game industry. IBM will provide cloud, Watson AI, and machine learning for the Overwatch League and become a presenting partner of the Overwatch League Grand Finals. IBM will power interactive and analytical content for the league, which is one of the powerhouses of the $950 million esports industry.
The IBM sponsorship component kicks off at this year’s 2020 Overwatch League
In this video, Persia talks about the PS5’s new 3D audio feature and how it will work for your headset but not for your TV speakers at launch. Sony also showed of its Pulse 3D wireless headset, which it says will be the best way to experience the PS5’s 3D audio capabilities. A few confirmed games to support this feature are Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, and Resident Evil Village.
Persia also talks about the surprise announcement and release of two collections from Bethesda. The first collection includes four Wolfenstein games in all: The New Order, The Old Blood, The New Colossus, and Youngblood. The second is The Arkane Collection and includes Prey, Dishonored, and Dishonored 2, along with the standalone Dishonored 2 expansion Death of the Outsider. Bethesda also confirmed to GameSpot that both collections will be playable on next-gen consoles through backwards compatibility.
Blizzard created one blockbuster franchise after another — “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “StarCraft,” “Hearthstone,” “Overwatch” — while being passed around by a succession of corporate owners. That’s because Morhaime and his original partner sold the company back in 1994 for $6.75 million. All those years, no one at Blizzard — Morhaime included — owned the games they were working on. (The company is now a division of publicly-traded Activision Blizzard.) He stepped down as Blizzard’s CEO in 2018 and left the company altogether last year.
Now Mike Morhaime is back in the game business. With his wife Amy and a handful of Blizzard veterans, Morhaime has founded a game publisher and developer called Dreamhaven. The new company plans to reveal its existence Wednesday and announce it has created two studios populated by Blizzard veterans — Moonshot Games and Secret Door — that are actively working on new undisclosed game concepts.