It’s those damn microtransactions
Activision Blizzard has been a monolith in the gaming industry for nearly fifteen years, best known for titles that have dominated markets like world of warcraft, DevilY Supervision. While its PC games have delivered some of the biggest hits over the years, both critically and commercially, the company’s latest financial report hints that the tides could be turning in significant ways for the company. During the second quarter of 2022, Activision Blizzard made more than half of its total revenue from mobile gaming, which is more than PC and console combined (thanks, PC Gamer).
While Activision Blizzard generated $332 million in PC sales and $376 million in combined console sales, mobile games grossed more than all other platforms combined (including an additional $105 million in the “Other” category with distribution revenue, esports leagues, etc.) with a staggering $831 million.
This time last year, the numbers were more evenly distributed: PC made $628 million, consoles made $740 million, and mobile games made $795 million. Activision Blizzard’s mobile games were still top earners, but the change in revenue streams this year was substantial. In case you’re wondering, a driving factor in year-over-year growth is that developer King candy crush (published by Activision) is still killing it somehow.
This report follows two big news stories for Activision Blizzard in recent weeks: gamers’ disdain for immortal devil despite their huge sales numbers, and the Obligations franchise that lost 50 million active players in the last year.
It’s pretty easy to make the connection as to how these circumstances affected the company’s profits, especially considering that one guy spent over $100,000 on immortal devil microtransactions. Players have also expressed their distaste for Call of Duty: Vanguard, from the title’s World War II aesthetic (which doesn’t go well with the flashy cosmetics that players love so much) to its gameplay. Of course, there are other factors at play here, like the release schedule, for example, and I’m sure there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that we just don’t know about.
Mind you, this is all coming amid new rumors that Activision Blizzard is engaging in anti-union tactics once again, and after months of settling a massive sexual harassment lawsuit. It’s been a tumultuous time at the company, to say the least, but regardless, he’s shown that even when his reputation is possibly the worst it’s ever had, he’s still capable of big profits.