Activision Blizzard makes more money from mobile games than PC and consoles combined

mongeese

Posts: 611   +122
Staff member
In brief: Activision Blizzard released its quarterly financial report last week, which paints a picture of a bleak future for the platform hierarchy. The troubled company's revenue fell year on year thanks to plummeting PC and console sales, and now mobile games make up half its income.

Nowadays, Activision Blizzard should really be called Activision Blizzard King. If you haven't heard of King, you'd be forgiven. It's the maker of Candy Crush, Farm Heroes, Bubble Witch, and little else. But it's also a money printer. King made $685 million for Activision Blizzard last quarter, when the two namesakes only made $600 and $296 million, respectively.

Activision made the most in the console market, with $360 million. It generated $100 million from the PC and $135 million from mobile sales, a good portion of which would've come from the evergreen Call of Duty Mobile. It seems to be doing better than 2021's CoD Vanguard, which is a sad state of affairs.

Blizzard launched the unpopular but profitable Diablo Immortal at the start of June, which has grossed over $100 million. It managed to rake in another $229 million from PC titles like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, but only a paltry $19 million on consoles.

If you total those numbers, you get the mobile revenue making up a slim majority of Activision Blizzard's revenue last quarter --50.5%, or $831 million. Year-over-year console and PC revenue almost halved, dropping to $376 (23%) and $332 million (20%), respectively. Other sources of income, primarily live events and esports broadcasts, comprised about six percent of the company's revenue ($100 million).

Obviously, the publisher is prioritizing mobile games, but console and PC games will make a comeback in the company's bottom line later this year. It has three colossal money makers waiting in the wings: Overwatch 2, CoD Modern Warfare 2, and the Dragonflight expansion for World of Warcraft.

There's no need to worry about the immediate future of Activision Blizzard's games made for the traditional gaming mediums, particularly as Microsoft's acquisition of the company moves forward. But as it continues to focus its investments on the mobile sector, the likelihood of it developing new and ambitious PC and console franchises slowly fades away.

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alexnode

Posts: 90   +32
They just make greedy bad games, The super indy stray earned 5 million from steam in the first 5 days of release. Who knows what was the deal with SONY. Cyberpunk earned half a billion ! Do people still play WOW and Cod ? They are very boring games and the money you give to these people go to CEO and COOs and share holders ... they definitely don't go to high quality content. As for Candy crush, well ... it doesn't even register as a video game for me.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,205   +872
Pay to play is not inherently bad .
Some extra daily content , some skins/cosmetics for a nominal monthly charge .
Even premium events can be fine
It's the loot boxes , the manipulation of kids etc
The pay to win , pay to not excessively grind

I do wonder how many life lessons are being learnt - I pay $50 for a 1000 gems that were squandered in a few days on not much

I think if the game is done fine - you don't need to pay to win . Ie you will always be competing with people roughly at your level - so it's up to you to judge your "wins" ie I had worse resources but I finished in top 5

I talked to my son about Diablo Immortal the other day - he said he played it for awhile - had fun - never felt he had to come to me to ask to buy anything .

For myself - I felt the only money I felt misspent on my families mobile gaming - is where you lose stuff - if game installed on new device - eg lose if buy ingame with gems , as compared to direct with money - eg Plants vs Zombies - I used to reward my son with a new plant - if he achieved elsewhere in his life ( went he was young )
 

ET3D

Posts: 1,787   +419
Games that make the most amount of money after the initial sale are also the worst games you should probably avoid.

Though I don't play these games, I think that Call of Duty Warzone is both highly regarded and extremely successful. I'd also say that Fortnite is well liked, and there's a clear trend of even paid-for games moving to the F2P model (such as Rocket League and Fall Guys). These are all fun games that are worth playing (for people who like these genres), and better than many non-free games.

lol probably because there are more casual low tier gamers than hard core PC and Console gamers.

So quantity does not equal quality.

I'd say that Candy Crash is a smarter game than anything Activision releases.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 4,621   +5,575
Pay to play is not inherently bad .
Some extra daily content , some skins/cosmetics for a nominal monthly charge .
Even premium events can be fine
It's the loot boxes , the manipulation of kids etc
The pay to win , pay to not excessively grind

I do wonder how many life lessons are being learnt - I pay $50 for a 1000 gems that were squandered in a few days on not much

I think if the game is done fine - you don't need to pay to win . Ie you will always be competing with people roughly at your level - so it's up to you to judge your "wins" ie I had worse resources but I finished in top 5

I talked to my son about Diablo Immortal the other day - he said he played it for awhile - had fun - never felt he had to come to me to ask to buy anything .

For myself - I felt the only money I felt misspent on my families mobile gaming - is where you lose stuff - if game installed on new device - eg lose if buy ingame with gems , as compared to direct with money - eg Plants vs Zombies - I used to reward my son with a new plant - if he achieved elsewhere in his life ( went he was young )
I'd like to point to ESO where "pay to win" is done right. There are no direct stat advantages but there are convience items that come with membership. These make leveling easier, extra bank space and the big one, the crafting bag. These allow you to make more money than other players and level faster but you still have access to all content and it just takes a bit more of a grind. It takes 2 weeks instead of a week to build a character, for example.

You can buy your way to the top but the top isn't that hard to get to for free players, either. It's not like Diablo Immortal where you'll have to spend years getting to a place where someone who spend 100k did.
 

bexwhitt

Posts: 601   +322
How can something be unpopular and bring in $100 million? Controversial was the word they were looking for.
 

human7

Posts: 69   +48
I haven't played the mobile games mentioned on this article, but I have played others like Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. The free to play, pay to bypass the grind, probability/gacha mechanics really works to rake in income. I admit I've said to heck with it a couple of times and spent some money. Definitely not a whale, but definitely could've bought a couple AAA games at full price if you total all of my purchases over the years up. I never buy AAA games at full price b/c they are always on sale (well, I have a backlog so long that by the time I get to it, it's usually been out for 10 years, with a few exceptions). So it is understandable why mobile games rake in more money.

That doesn't meant that the ecosystem is healthier, though. Regulators really need to crack down on it, as there's a lot of borderline (or flat out) gambling in these games, and tons of kids certainly play them, too. Plus, the mechanics are designed to play with your psychology - kids or not, these mechanics are predatory.
 

Thanthan

Posts: 91   +190
I'd like to point to ESO where "pay to win" is done right. There are no direct stat advantages but there are convience items that come with membership. These make leveling easier, extra bank space and the big one, the crafting bag. These allow you to make more money than other players and level faster but you still have access to all content and it just takes a bit more of a grind. It takes 2 weeks instead of a week to build a character, for example.

You can buy your way to the top but the top isn't that hard to get to for free players, either. It's not like Diablo Immortal where you'll have to spend years getting to a place where someone who spend 100k did.

I actually feel like the ‘convenience’ items are some of the worst **** developers have invented. It heavily encourages devs to make core gameplay excessively grindy and boring, with easy and cheap skip buttons. They make the basic game terrible, but it seems innocuous enough as the skips are typically priced low, and so people let them get away with making terrible games for people who don’t want to pay extra for a game they already paid full price for. This is basically the formula that ended up with Ghost Recon Wildlands crashing and burning as they pushed it too far.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,880   +4,386
Though I don't play these games, I think that Call of Duty Warzone is both highly regarded and extremely successful. I'd also say that Fortnite is well liked, and there's a clear trend of even paid-for games moving to the F2P model (such as Rocket League and Fall Guys). These are all fun games that are worth playing (for people who like these genres), and better than many non-free games.



I'd say that Candy Crash is a smarter game than anything Activision releases.
Warzone and Fornite are like fast food of the gaming world or pop and mumble rap music they constantly repeat on the radio.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,621   +5,575
I actually feel like the ‘convenience’ items are some of the worst **** developers have invented. It heavily encourages devs to make core gameplay excessively grindy and boring, with easy and cheap skip buttons. They make the basic game terrible, but it seems innocuous enough as the skips are typically priced low, and so people let them get away with making terrible games for people who don’t want to pay extra for a game they already paid full price for. This is basically the formula that ended up with Ghost Recon Wildlands crashing and burning as they pushed it too far.
I don't mind spending money on a game, what I mind is when it's systems are designed to be so convoluted that you don't realize what your spending money on and why.

I posted a few months ago that I knew a Psychologist who was working at Blizzard. They mentioned their job was to design gameplay mechanics to be addictive and confusing, I was laughed at. Now we're looking at Diablo Immortal.....
 
King would also make more than activision and blizzard while selling real crack instead of virtual one.

Just because they can make more money with questionable business practices doesn't mean it is the right way to do so.
And they will get karma for it for sure.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,486   +2,191
Ah, so the company that is treating the PC as a secondary concern makes less money on it? Color me shocked
 

Gezzer

Posts: 287   +145
I've played a few P2W, freemium. etc. games and the problem I always run into is how the gameplay has to be structured to encourage spending money, and it always seems to suffer for it. Even some subscription MMOs that I really enjoyed and then went F2P seemed to lose something in the process. So the fact that they're a great money maker worries me. IMHO gameplay should always come first, everything else second. If it doesn't, why bother?
 

Gastec

Posts: 256   +130
Not sure how people can play games on mobile. The graphic quality is just horrible.

I am more concerned about the small screens that ruin their eyes and the mobile content that ruin their minds.(I'm thinking about the children).