Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) is doing without: The loot boxes and Season Pass, which have received much criticism, have been removed from the monetization concept. This strategy had a financial impact in a positive sense, according to Activision’s balance sheets. The leap into the mobile sector is also bearing fruit.
Activision has twice the success with Modern Warfare. On the one hand, the sales figures compared to Black Ops IV rose in the double-digit percentage range on all platforms, which is also confirmed by a look at a market overview. Battle.net even sold 50 percent more copies of the game on PC.
Fewer purchase options bring more money
On the other hand, despite the theoretically gentler monetization with Battle Pass and game shop, sales from microtransactions increased again in the double-digit percentage range compared to the predecessor of the shooter. CEO Bobby Kotick emphasized the higher “Attach Rate” – an indication that more players have spent money, so the target group has expanded.
At the same time, the “engagement” increased, which means nothing more than the season. In this context, it is still the case that playing time can be equated with sales and turnover through in-game shops. The consequence of this relation will continue to be to increase the playing time through live service concepts and potentially grind.
Another consequence of the last quarter will be the increased leap into the mobile sector. Call of Duty Mobile now has 150 million installations, is on the top of the download charts in more than 150 countries and has closed the fourth quarter of 2019 among the 15 best-selling apps in American app stores. Smartphones have thus become the largest call-of-duty platform. Activision again does not give specific figures, but it was able to exceed sales expectations.
More mobile and retro for the future
The conclusion is obvious and is expressed: The success “shows the chances for our other big brands to reach hundreds of millions of new players” by expanding to mobile devices. At least there are plans for Diablo. The mobile branch Immortal should start the first test phases in the middle of the year. Similar projects for other brands are expected.
The publisher also sees opportunities in the success of World of Warcraft Classic, which points to retro releases as another way to further profits. Offers with a beautiful memory are not a sure-fire success. The attempt to modernize Warcraft 3 met with criticism due to many missteps, such as the appropriation of rights to community cards, and Activision was ultimately forced to offer unconditional refunds.