Activision confirms Warzone's massive success is spiking Modern Warfare game sales, cementing this F2P-and-premium gameplan as a permanent fixture in the company's business model.
With the new free-to-play Warzone battle royale, Activision has created their own Game Pass effect: A live operation is pushing full game sales while monetizing and engaging players in the process. Warzone features cross-play, cross-SKU, and cross-progression with Modern Warfare, meaning it's also tied into and with the premium game, but it's also a standalone free download. It's the perfect entry point to Activision's billion-dollar live Call of Duty empire. Think of Warzone as the connective sinew in between Call of Duty's muscle.
In its recent earnings report, Activision confirmed two things: Their intended plan to use Warzone as a gateway to full game sales is working, and Warzone is also monetizing players quite strongly.
Warzone's big 60 million player boost helped Modern Warfare become the best-performing Q1 Call of Duty game in the history of the series. Modern Warfare is now selling and monetizing better in Q1 than any other Call of Duty game in the same period.
For reference, Activision made $956 million from microtransactions and in-game spending in Q1 2020.
"Modern Warfare sell-through in Q1 with the highest ever for a Call of Duty title outside of the launch quarter. Life-to-date, Modern Warfare has sold through more units and has more players than any prior Call of Duty title at this point after its release.
"Warzone also contributed to a further acceleration in Modern Warfare's in-game net bookings, which more than doubled year-over-year versus the prior game in Q1, even with the removal of the season pass and this momentum has only strengthened," Activision COO Daniel Alegre said in the call.
This is just the beginning of Warzone's dominance.
Activision says it will continue significantly investing in Warzone in the coming months with lots of new engagement-driven content. The mode will get two seasons in Q2, and will also be integrated into this year's annual Call of Duty release.