Here’s a sign of the times: Activision has confirmed via newly released financial documents that it made more money on its phone games last quarter than it did on all of its console and PC games combined.
As spotted by TweakTown, Activision’s quarterly report was published last week and sheds some light on how its biggest games across PC, console, and mobile are doing financially. And because of games like Diablo Immortal, Call of Duty Mobile, and Candy Crush Saga, the beleaguered Call of Duty publisher’s making a lot of cash off phone games. In fact, more than half of its total earnings for the second quarter of 2022 came from mobile titles and not console or PC games.
According to the report, about 51 per cent of Activision’s total earnings from the Q2 2022 period came from mobile games. That adds up to a total of $US831 ($1,154) million in mobile game earnings. Meanwhile, its console games earned around $US376 ($522) million and PC games brought in a bit less, $US332 ($461) million. Finally, it made $US105 ($146) million from events and esports.
What you might not expect, especially if you don’t realise how massive mobile gaming has become over the last decade, is that of the $US831 ($1,154) million made off phone games, most of it came from King’s titles and not stuff like Call of Duty Mobile. In the report, Activision says that King titles like Candy Crush and Farm Heroes brought in over $US680 ($944) million.
What these numbers reveal is that for big publishers like Activision, the future is likely one where it invests even more resources and money into mobile games and focuses less and less on console games. In an era where AAA games are more expensive to make than ever, take years to create, and often flop, mobile games have become a lifeline for large game companies looking to keep their heads above water.
For Activision it’s especially important as Call of Duty continues to lose millions of players and underperform. Seeing as the company has spent years focusing much of its energy on Call of Duty — at one point even having every studio it owned working on the franchise in some capacity — it’s likely it will seek to diversify into mobile more, not less, moving forward.
It should also be noted that Activision’s hugely successful mobile games are one of the main reasons Microsoft began the process of buying the company earlier this year following a huge, public fallout after the company was sued over years of sexual harassment and discrimination.
In some way, Call of Duty and Warcraft are more like bonuses that Xbox gets on top of King and its money-printing games.