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YouTube, Activision partner to let 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II' players broadcast games

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It's no secret that Activision and Treyarch plan to embrace live streaming of multiplayer Call of Duty: Black Ops II games when the blockbuster title ships next week. But now the publisher has announced that none other than YouTube will serve as its partner on the groundbreaking venture. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 users will be able to broadcast all League Play matches over the web, letting spectators tune in from nearly any device with access to YouTube. Debuting in Black Ops II, League Play is a new seasonal, bracket-based multiplayer mode that keeps gamers paired with others matching their own skill level, lessening the odds that you'll find yourself on the wrong end of a one-sided contest.

To complement the on-screen action, you can choose to add audio commentary and even webcam video to each stream. Current broadcasts will be amassed on the Call of Duty: Elite YouTube portal and you'll also be able to tune in through individual user channels. The announcement also dubiously warns that streams "will be subject to limitations and restrictions" — likely to afford Activision the right to pull the plug on games demonstrating potential exploits or hacks. The audience for live video game broadcasts has blossomed in recent years, though Activision hasn't been the only publisher to notice. Earlier today, Twitch announced a pair of new deals that will bring its own streaming capabilities to Electronic Arts and Sony Online Entertainment.