The Conspiracy Deepens as Activision’s Call of Duty Lawsuit Gets Worse

Partaking teams are Activision's sidekicks in this?

The Conspiracy Deepens as Activision's Call of Duty Lawsuit Gets Worse

SUMMARY

  • Activision find themselves in hot water AGAIN, this time with a lawsuit from a couple of former eSports Pro's.
  • The Call of Duty League has long been a big hitter in the eSports market, but will this lawsuit change it?
  • The lawsuit argues that gamers and eSports players are losing out thanks to the newest deal.
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Activision is getting into trouble as the Call of Duty lawsuit involving two esports professionals, Hector Rodriguez and Seth Abner, could cost them $680 Million in damages. The case alleges the company holds an “unlawful 100 % monopoly” over CoD leagues and tournaments. The “lucrative and once-vibrant market” is now bulwarked by the company, preventing other entities from entering the market.

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Hector Rodriguez is the founder of the esports and gaming organization OpTic Gaming. Furthermore, Seth Abner is a former CoD player who played for OpTic Texas, a subsidiary of Hector’s company. Call of Duty League (CDL), the case’s central focus, is currently owned and operated by Activision.

Activision’s Practices Are Cutting Gamer’s Revenue

The lawsuit may cost CoD publisher $680 Million.
The Call of Duty lawsuit may cost the company $680 Million.

Plaintiffs in the case are alleging that the teams taking part in CDL are co-conspirators allowing the company to shed monopoly in the market. The company capped the tournament at 12 teams after announcing CDL as “a closed league” in 2019. This “coerced” the participating teams to pay a hefty fee of $27.5 Million just for entering the tournament. “Activision forced them to agree to contractual termsaccording to the court document.

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Furthermore, the lawsuit argues that such practices are causing gamer revenue to go negative as the company now asks for a 50 percent share of the revenue generated through sales, sponsorships, and other streams. Moreover, to pay for the entries, teams had to tie up with big investors.

Rodriguez claims this practice led him into a “financially devastating” partnership where the investors demanded over 90 percent share in his company. Available data shows the company has a valuation of $99 Million. According to an Activision spokesperson, both the plaintiffs demanded the company to pay “tens of millions of dollars to avoid this meritless litigation” and went ahead with filing when their demands weren’t met.

Fear of Companies Shedding Monopoly is Real

Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $69 Billion last year.
Microsoft acquired CoD publisher for $69 Billion last year.

Last year, the CoD publisher was acquired by Microsoft for a whopping $69 Billion. The deal was originally announced in January 2022 but faced legal hindrances before it was finalized. Following this, the Widows bearer laid 1,900 employees from Activision, most of them from its esports division.

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CoD publisher acquired Major League Gaming in 2016 which, according to the lawsuit, eliminated “Activision’s most significant competitive threat in the professional Call of Duty market — without any FTC approval.” Like in this, Microsoft’s acquisition of CoD publisher had to face a similar situation.

It was speculated that Microsoft’s move would shift a majority of gaming market share in their favor, creating a monopoly. Nonetheless, the deal was later supported by key markets including South Korea, the United Kingdom, Europe, and more.

Where do you think the CDL lawsuit is moving? Tell us in the comments.

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Written by Anurag Batham

Articles Published: 154

Anurag Batham is a Gaming Writer at FandomWire. He aspires to become a proper Writer and a Journalist in the days to come. With an experience of over two years in writing for different industries, his past works show his passion towards the metaverse and awareness towards environment.

A gaming enthusiast who can prove when you have a round of Call of Duty (COD) with him. And it may take more than a coffee with him if you are to talk to him about Marvel. One can find a reader in him who's always keen to perfect what he already knows and to learn everything new.