Several esports teams, which are parts of Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues, reportedly owe Activision Blizzard up to $420 million. These fees were previously paused due to the pandemic.
Activision Blizzard is owed between $390 and $420 million in franchise payments in deferred payments for the last two years, according to a report by journalist Jacob Wolf.
- Teams in the Overwatch League owe a total of $120-150 million, with each of the 20 franchises owing around $6-7.5 million.
- Teams in the Call of Duty League owe $22.5 million each.
- Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues remain the most expensive esports franchises globally. For example, a new franchise should pay $20 million to enter the Overwatch League in addition to annual fees.
- On top of that, the teams have lost sponsors, including Coca-Cola and other global brands, after the DFEH filed a harassment lawsuit against Activision Blizzard last year.
- Initially, Activision Blizzard postponed the annual payments to fall 2022 as part of its COVID relief measures. The teams are now negotiating with the publisher to push these fees to early 2024.