Back in 2016, Activision Blizzard acquired Major League Gaming for around $50 million, and that deal went hand-in-hand with GameBattles, one of the most prolific peer-to-peer competitive platforms ever founded. At the time, it was stressed that there were no plans to ‘shutter businesses’ as Activision’s goal was to become more invested in the esports scene.
Fast forward to today, and it has been announced that effective January 15, 2024, the GameBattles platform will be closed down, bringing an end to 20 years of competitive gaming on the site.
It’s Where We Came Up
For the more competitive gamers among us, GameBattles was a fantastic platform for meeting your match. It facilitated a wide range of esports-focused activities, from free-to-access ladders to cash tournaments, and it generally acted as a repository of top-tier gaming talent, focusing almost specifically on Call of Duty (especially post-Activision-acquisition).
It evolved, too. It went from being a simple peer-to-peer platform to a legitimate organiser of some high-profile esports events. Over time, the inevitable started happening, and thanks to more games featuring in-built Ranked Play modes, platforms like GameBattles started to waver. That was likely recognised by Activision Blizzard, and in an attempt to start breaking away from esports more earnestly, GameBattles (and now probably MLG) fell to the chopping block.
In a statement, Chris Evans, the Operations Supervisor at GameBattles said:
Our team learned yesterday that Activision Blizzard has decided to shut down GameBattles, the last remaining branch of MLG, by mid January. The entire team at GameBattles has been notified that we’re all being let go as part of the closure.
Call of Duty fans and pro players the world over flocked to social media to mourn the impending loss of GameBattles, reminiscing of days gone by, when they’d use the platform to find a wager against strangers online. It was the best of times.