Money makes the world go round, and it’s at the center of every decision game publishers make. Everyone’s first crush, Blizzard, is no exception, and while the whole gaming world rallies against the bad business practices so many game companies exploit, Activision-Blizzard has remained more-or-less immune to the controversy, because fans are the worst.
And now that Activision has posted its net revenues for 2017, we know just how bad they actually are.
Specifically, Activision earned a whooping $7 billion USD in cash over the whole of last year - that’s quite an impressive number, but what’s problematic is HOW it was earned. Specifically, it was revealed that more than half of that number, well over $4 billion, was earned exclusively from in-game purchases.
The good news is that most of that aren't actually Blizzard’s fault. While Blizzard was responsible for $2 billion of the $7 billion (despite not having released a new game that year), the bulk of microtransaction payments came from the Candy Crush games that King develops, which are still the most popular games on the iOS and Android store. So Blizzard’s creepy loot boxes aren’t the driving force behind their massive influx of money, but they certainly played a part.
As for the Activision side of things, Destiny 2 did quite well, as did its first expansion and the Zombie Chronicles for Call of Duty: Black Ops. The latter-most example, Zombie Chronicles, was called the “number one add-on offering of the year for PlayStation North America,” meaning there’s still a lot of people plugging away at that two-year-old game.
So yeah, I would call this a pretty bad sign for things to come, given certain nerds can’t seem to vote with their wallets. That said, it’s not really my job to comment on the news, just to report it, but… I’m bad at being objective so why fight it?
We’ll have to see if the trend continues for 2018.