Video games are increasingly becoming a spectator sport, and Google is making its first big move to bring those spectators to YouTube.
Activision, publisher of the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise, said this morning that players will be able to live stream their game play of Call of Duty: Black Ops II on YouTube. Players can share their game play, audio commentary, and even Webcam footage of themselves on YouTube without any new hardware or software.
Sang Kim, head of game partnerships for YouTube, said in a statement that the move was "an awesome next step for the eSports community," referring to the world of professional gaming.
Black Ops II, which hits stores on Tuesday, will be available for streaming on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The feature was created by Activision and Treyarch, the Call of Duty game studio.
Game play streaming is an idea rapidly taking hold in the gaming world, not least because of the viral marketing opportunities it presents. Twitch.tv, a San Francisco startup that has grown rapidly as a place for streaming video-game play, signed a deal with Sony last week to let players stream content to Twitch with a single click. The first title to include the feature will be PlanetSide 2, a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter that launches November 20.