Activision Blizzard is making more money from PC games than console titles
But mobile is still KingBy Rob Thubron
In brief: Activision Blizzard has long made more money from consoles than the PC, but that trend has changed in recent times. The PC platform is now generating more revenue for the company, and the difference is increasing all the time.
Activision made more money from its console games than its PC projects throughout the 2000s and 2010s, even after it bought Blizzard and all the World of Warcraft subscriptions that came with it in 2008.
But PC Gamer notes that the PC has been a bigger earner than consoles for Activision over the past three quarters. Between January 1 and March 31, it made $666 million from the PC compared to $639 million from consoles, a $27 million difference. The platform still isn't Activision's most lucrative, though; it made $956 million in total revenue on mobile, thanks mainly to Candy Crush (Activision acquired developer King in 2016).
PC revenue jumped a massive 74% year-on-year in the last quarter. Activision highlighted the success of Call of Duty and Overwatch 2 on the PC, while noting higher revenues for non-console games WoW: Dragonflight and Diablo Immortal.
Much of the PC success was due to Blizzard. A massive 72% of its revenue came from PC games, compared to just 8% on console, though its titles still make around half as much money as Call of Duty. Blizzard will likely see an increase in console revenue when Diablo 4 launches on PC and console simultaneously in June.
Despite generating more money from PC across the second half of 2022, the console market was the bigger earner for Activision across the whole of last year, but only by $100 million, its smallest lead ever. Assuming PC revenue stays ahead of console as it has done for the last three quarters, 2023 could be the first year that it becomes Activision's second-biggest money-maker behind mobile.
News of Activision's PC revenue moving ahead of console comes as Microsoft continues to fight regulators for the right to acquire the company. The battle will likely continue for a while after the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the takeover over concerns it could alter the could gaming industry, leading to reduced innovation and fewer choices for gamers.