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Overwatch is now a billion dollar franchise

Overwatch has become a billion dollar gaming sensation in less than a year
By: Derek Strickland | Gaming News | Posted: May 5, 2017 7:12 pm

Overwatch is a smashing success for Blizzard, and the company has big plans for its global FPS sensation.

 

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Blizzard has yet another billion-dollar franchise under its belt: Activision-Blizzard's latest Q1 2017 earnings confirms that Overwatch is now officially the company's 8th billion-dollar franchise, joining the ranks of Diablo, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, StarCraft, and World of Warcraft. Overwatch achieving stellar net sales, earnings, and record engagement levels--all in less than a year's time. In fact, Blizzard says Overwatch accrued 30 million registered users faster than any other franchise in the company's history.

 

Activision's Q1 2017 earnings were led by Blizzard games, which pulled in a strong $441 net revenues (almost half of the company's $1.7 billion total). Microtransactions are up 25% with Overwatch's skins and loot boxes and World of Warcraft's tokens and pets pulling the lion's share of in-game revenues.

 

Although Overwatch is already a roaring success, Blizzard has ambitious plans to turn the shooter into the centerpiece for a "new kind of eSports" that's centered around fans. Introducing Overwatch League

 

"Among the drivers of our results was Overwatch, which now has over 30 million players globally," Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said during the call. "The Overwatch League is gaining momentum and we're excited to offer our community of players the best professional league experience."

 

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The massive success if its current games lineup has caused the company to shift its gameplan towards updates, patches, and content-driven expansions.

 

The gaming giant has announced it won't release any new full games in 2017, and will instead roll out a slew of content updates across all of its big franchises. In fact, Blizzard plans to release more content updates this year than it ever has.

 

"This year for Blizzard is a different kind of year for us, a year that isn't necessarily built on full game launches but content title updates for our games," Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime said in a recent Activision earnings call.

 

"This quarter we have meaningful new updates for every franchise in our portfolio. In fact, we set a new DAU record last quarter thanks to title updates. Even without any full game launches this year, we're continuing to add to the depth of our games to serve a very highly engaged community with more content across our portfolio than we've ever had before."

 

With strategically-released content updates, fixes, tweaks, updates, and a new eSports arm, Blizzard will carefully curate Overwatch's continued success. It'll be interesting to see how much Activision-Blizzard can pull in next quarter, and whether or not its Overwatch League gambit pays off.

NEWS SOURCES:Files.shareholder.com

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