Call of Duty cancels $25 million CDL fees and increases in-game revenue for teams

Call of Duty cancels $25 million CDL fees and increases in-game revenue for teams
Images via Activision

Written by 

Jack Marsh


16th Apr 2024 17:24

Since Modern Warfare 2019, Call of Duty esports has been sticking to its CDL franchising model, which costs organisations $25 million each to enter in the hope that this money will be invested into one of the best-produced leagues in the entire industry.

But these massive fees have been put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic hindered the CDL in its inaugural season and the franchise model never recovered.

After years of spiralling downwards in quality, Activision has now announced that it is refunding all fees paid, wavering any outstanding payments, and has agreed to a new revenue split which will continue to benefit organisations.

CDL cancels $300m worth of franchise fees

Click to enlarge

Similar to the Overwatch League, Activision has today announced that every organisation that entered the Call of Duty League will no longer have to pay a penny to compete, and any fees that have already been paid will be refunded.

Taking to a new blog post, Call of Duty Esports General Manager Daniel Tsay said, "Outstanding entry fees will be eliminated, and any fees previously collected from teams will be returned in full."

"While we paused collection of these payments years ago, we are permanently removing this obligation while also injecting capital back into the League."

In contrast to the OWL though, it does appear that Activision intends to keep the CDL running for at least two more years, as Tsay revealed "Teams will receive a two-year minimum guarantee of revenue so they can continue investing into the Call of Duty League with more peace of mind."

CDL agrees to a more favourable revenue split for in-game team purchases

Click to enlarge

Recent reports indicated that the Call of Duty League organisations had been bartering with the CDL to get a higher revenue split for the sale of their own in-game team bundles, and Tsay has also confirmed that this will now be coming into effect.

"We know how meaningful in-game bundles can be for Teams and we want to make sure they have increased ability to drive their own financial success," he said.

As to what this split is, that is yet to be revealed, but fans can now buy the bundles of their favourite teams knowing that the revenue will be favourable for the orgs, rather than knowing Activision will be pocketing a majority share.

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This sparks the biggest change to the CDL that we have seen yet, and the 2025 season is already looking increasingly promising as event money allocation has also been increased.

Jack Marsh
About the author
Jack Marsh
Jack is an Esports Journalist at GGRecon. Graduating from the University of Chester, with a BA Honours degree in Journalism, Jack is an avid esports enthusiast and specialises in Rocket League, Call of Duty, VALORANT, and trending gaming news.
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