Each of the Call of Duty teams will be operated by the same ownership groups behind the respective cities' Overwatch League franchise, with slots for this new venture being sold for US$25 million apiece, according to ESPN.
Activision Blizzard post first-quarter 2019 revenues of $1.8 billion, surpassing its February outlook, however misses first-quarter 2018 revenues by 7%. Last August, the Federation Internationale de Football Association eWorld Cup at London's O2 was watched by a global online audience of 27 million, and it was just one of more than 500 esports events in the last 12 months, with a combined prize pot of more than 100 million dollars (£76m). "Our expanded partnership with Activision Blizzard and the acquisition of the Toronto Call of Duty franchise signals yet another significant step toward our goal".
"We're continuing to enhance our leadership position in esports", Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said during the company's first-quarter earnings call Thursday.
The confirmed city teams are not expected to see action until 2020, after the current Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 gaming cycle completes. All five cities are now home to franchises in Blizzard's Overwatch League.
In fact, Activision should be lifting the lid on the new project any time before the end of the third quarter of the current financial year. Envy Gaming is the owner and operator of esports franchise Team Envy and "Overwatch" League team Dallas Fuel. The Overwatch League will be based on Atlanta, New York, Dallas, Toronto and Paris. Call of Duty usually gets its own reveal event, so we don't imagine the publisher will wait until E3 2019. This is a somewhat controversial decision, considering the response to Diablo Immortal, the mobile game announced at Blizzcon previous year. In addition to host of statements regarding the upcoming instalment, it appears as though the Call of Duty 2019 reveal is just around the corner. With its 300 million lifetime sales, the Call of Duty series is now behind only Pokemon and Mario in terms of total games sold.
You can read the full earnings call report here.