We’re just a few days a way from the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a game that promises to be the biggest videogame release of 2012 (sales-wise), and Activision has just spilled the beans on one of the shooter’s key new features. They’ve previously said that some sort of live streaming capabilities will be built into Black Ops II, so that players can live stream matches without the need for a capture card and external software. Today, they announced exactly how they plan on pulling that off.
In a fairly unprecedented move, YouTube has partnered up with Activision to allow YouTube live streams of all League Play matches in Black Ops II. These live streams will be accessible from any device that can access regular YouTube content, which will open the streams up to all sorts of mobile viewership. Players will not only have the option of streaming their matches, but will also be able to insert voice-over commentary and even a webcam feed into their outgoing stream.
While the traditional method of directing users to your personal channel will still be possible, all of the currently streaming Black Ops II feeds will also be available in the Call of Duty: Elite YouTube hub, making it easy to find someone to watch if you don’t know any individual users by name yet.
While the service sounds like a great idea, it remains to be seen how well YouTube can make the move into live streaming. They’ve dabbled in it before, but much of their live streaming content has been plagued by bugs, and other more stream-specific services like Twitch.tv and Own3d.tv have done a much better job of catering to the live videogame streaming market. It will be interesting to see how much hosting a huge game like Black Ops II will allow YouTube to cut into the market share of those streaming services.