As part of Activision Blizzard’s earnings report on Tuesday, the company shared some key details about the success of the next Call of Duty game and its existing games. Black Ops Cold War and the free-to-play battle royale game Warzone helped Activision increase its sales by 72%.
The Cold War achieved “strong premium sales,” and Warzone’s in-game revenue, namely microtransactions, also had a positive impact. At the same time, “Call of Duty Mobile” performed well at Activision and helped double its operating income.
Activision said the launch of the free Call of Duty Warzone and Mobile games has “transformed the franchise.” Activision said the number of monthly active users has more than tripled in the past two years, helping Activision reach the total in the first quarter. With 150 million monthly active users in 2021, “Call of Duty” clearly shows that monthly active users have increased by 40% year-on-year, and this number has also increased month-on-month.
Activision said that in the first quarter after the Warzone integration, Black Ops Cold War premium sales were higher than ever, so Warzone is helping with paid game sales as well. These microtransactions (called in-game net bookings) have increased by more than 60% on consoles and PC alone.
Also, in terms of microtransactions, the first and second seasons of “Black Ops” are the Cold War and the War Zone, and are the most successful seasons in the history of “Call of Duty”.
Activision said the newly released third season “sustaining this strong run-rate, tracking in-line with the first two season.” Especially for Call of Duty Mobile, the game has “player investment, participation and reach” in the first quarter. Activision said the launch of the game in China and “continuous improvement” elsewhere will help enhance the game’s results. It has also reached 500 million downloads.
Activision confirmed that the Call of Duty’s 2021 game will come from “Sledgehammer Game.” The publisher said the title was “born for the next generation,” but the company did not reveal whether it means it will not appear on PS4 / Xbox One. The company also teased that the game “integrate with and enhance the Call of Duty ecosystem” and will integrate with Warzone.
Activision management also stated that the Call of Duty’s 2021 will have campaigns, multiplayer games and cooperative elements. Rumor has it that it will be the “Call of Duty: WWII” era sequel. The company also confirmed that it will be listed in the fall of 2021, which is noteworthy due to rumors that it could be delayed until later.
Overall, Activision Blizzard’s revenue in the first quarter was $ 2.275 million, compared to $ 2.015 million for the same period last year. Activision’s net profit was $ 619 million, up from $ 505 million for the same period last year. The company’s microtransaction revenue was $ 1.34 billion, compared to $ 960 million in the same period last year.
Going forward, Activision management stated that it plans to hire more than 2,000 developers in the future to help the company grow its franchises.
“Demand for our content has never been stronger, and we continue to ramp our investment to better serve our players and drive even greater financial performance,” Activision Blizzard said. “We intend to hire more than 2,000 developers over the next two years, including tripling the size of certain franchise teams by the end of next year as compared to 2019.”