Watching live video on Facebook will now include Blizzard Games such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, Diablo III, StarCraft II and World of Warcraft. Blizzard Streaming is now live in the Americas, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, allowing players using Blizzard’s Battle.net client to stream gameplay to Facebook with the click of a button. Friends can subscribe to feeds and get notified when new streams are available.
“Blizzard Streaming is accessible in the top-right corner of the Blizzard Client,” Blizzard noted in the press release. “Once you’ve updated your Blizzard Client on PC, simply click the stream button, use Facebook Login to allow permission for Blizzard to post to Facebook, and you can stream your gameplay! Mac support for Blizzard Streaming is coming soon.”
As of July, Battle.net users could login to the service using their Facebook account in order to “pave the way for new social functionality in Blizzard games.” The partnership between Blizzard and Facebook helped solidify the social network as a serious livestreaming contender. With over eight billion videos viewed on Facebook every day, the site is prime real estate for the growing eSports market. Facebook knows this and is planning accordingly. In June, the company hired former pro League of Legends player and eSports superstar, Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis, as the company’s new eSports strategic partnerships manager.
Facebook has been hard at work securing partnerships to create a go-to source for video game content, such as Activision Blizzard to broadcast eSports competitions and Unity to publish games directly to the social network. “For developers who hadn’t considered Facebook or PC as a target platform, or want to expand their existing platforms, the ability to unlock additional business opportunities by going cross-platform onto a new PC gaming platform offers a huge upside with very little effort,” a Unity spokesperson told [a]listdaily about the partnership. “It’s exciting to think they will now have the chance to participate in the Facebook platform, an ecosystem that paid out over $2.5 billion to just web-game developers in 2015 alone.”
Blizzard has been at the forefront of eSports, livestreaming and pop culture for years, from Starcraft competitions to the infamous “Leeroy Jenkins” incident in World of Warcraft and being featured on episodes of South Park. There are countless stories of gamers making friends and finding love through Blizzard games, and the company embraces the community it has created.
“Blizzard games are best when played with friends, so it’s important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other,” said Gio Hunt, executive vice president of corporate operations at Blizzard Entertainment in a statement. “We’re working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses.”
The integration of Facebook is just in time for World of Warcraft‘s new Legion expansion, which releases on August 30. As of July, Overwatch remains among the top five games for both physical and digital sales.