Activision Blizzard makes more than half its money from microtransactions

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Activision Blizzard makes more than half its money from microtransactions
Call Of Duty is not the only thing making money for Activision

The publisher of Call Of Duty and Candy Crush is promising a major new Destiny 2 expansion and new heroes for Overwatch.

Another games company has released its latest financial results, and for Activision Blizzard it shows exactly why microtransactions aren’t going away anytime soon.

For the last calendar year they made a record $7.16 billion, up from $6.60 billion in 2016. But of those revenues more than half was microtransactions, at $5.43 billion.

However, since the company hasn’t broken down that figure by games it’s impossible to tell which ones are bringing in the most money. $2 billion of the total is from King mobile games such as Candy Crush Saga, but the remaining $3.43 billion is from games like Overwatch and Call Of Duty.

Either way it’s a shockingly large number, although it’s interesting that none of Activision Blizzard’s games have caused negative headlines in the same manner as EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II or Warner’s Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War.

In fact, the cosmetic-only loot boxes of Overwatch (which is currently running a Lunar New Year special event) are often held up as the more acceptable face of loot boxes. Although the revenue figure also includes ordinary DLC like Call Of Duty’s map packs.

That doesn’t mean Activision hasn’t managed to get itself embroiled in other controversies though, and there’s been increasing concern from fans that Bungie are dropping the ball when it comes to Destiny 2.

Speaking to investors, outgoing Activision boss Eric Hirshberg acknowledged that there are problems with Destiny 2’s end game and that Bungie were planning to make it, ‘less of a grind, and provide a more direct path to rewards’.

But despite heavy criticism he also pointed out that the attach rate for expansion Curse Of Osiris was larger than that for the first expansion of Destiny 1. Although he also confirmed that there’d be a new season of content starting in May and a major expansion in September – implied to be Destiny 2’s equivalent of the pivotal Taken King for Destiny 1.

In terms of Overwatch, Blizzard promised more seasonal events and new heroes. They also insisted that Overwatch League has been a success, with more than 10 million unique viewers during its first week and more people playing the game as a result – even though the total number of monthly users for all Blizzard games was down on the previous quarter.

Call Of Duty: WWII’s success is already well known, but Activision added that it has also become the biggest day one digital release ever on the PlayStation 4. It was also confirmed that Treyarch are making this year’s game, and while that does make rumours of Black Ops IV even more likely nothing was actually said about what game they’re making.

There was also no clue as to whether rumours of a new Crash Bandicoot game are true, other than the fact that the N. Sane Trilogy has become the best-selling remaster ever on the PlayStation 4. (So in other words, yes: there is going to be a new game.)

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