Activision proves it's the king of monetization

Activision once again proves why it's the top publisher in the games industry.

@DeekeTweak
Published Fri, Feb 9 2018 12:18 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:52 AM CST

Thanks to its hugely successful engagement strategy and wealth of IP, Activision Blizzard is a juggernaut in the games industry. But how much can the biggest publisher earn in a single calendar year from microtransactions? Try over $4 billion (yes really).

Activision proves it's the king of monetization | TweakTown.com

In its Calendar Year 2017 earnings filing, Activision Blizzard today announced that it has made $4.9 billion from microtransactions, "value-added services," subscriptions, DLC and other digital content, up 11% year-over-year. That's already a massive sum of cash, but it gets even more impressive once we take a look at its total revenue. In CY2017 the publisher raked in $7.02 billion in total net revenue, with digital making up nearly 80% of that, or $5.58 billion. Digital sales and revenue have always been important to Activision Blizzard, especially since it owns mobile titan King as well as Blizzard's strong retinue of digitally-focused engagement-driven games, and of course Activision's own titles such as Call of Duty.

Microtransactions also made up about 69% of total net revenues earned during the year, showing this model is still extremely lucrative and shouldn't go anywhere any time soon. These earnings are actually record-breaking for the publisher, and should signal a doubling-down on microtransactions and engagement, despite the controversy and push-back against lootboxes.

"Activision Blizzard delivered a fourth-quarter record of over $1 billion of in-game net bookings, and an annual record of over $4 billion of in-game net bookings," the company wrote in a press release.

Another fun fact: Activision Blizzard's microtransactions and digital subscriptions made more than twice than its product sales--$4.9 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively.

But also remember that every publisher has to spend a good chunk of its revenues on the costs of running a business like marketing, development, and administrative costs. Activision spent $5.708 billion on total costs and services during the calendar year, or about 80% of its total net revenues for the period.

Making games is expensive, especially when you're at the top spot.

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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