Call of Duty revenues have doubled in 2020, helping propel Activision-Blizzard to its new all-time $8 billion revenue high.
Activision has adapted the Call of Duty franchise into the perfect storm of engagement and monetization. The combination of the free-to-play Warzone, multiple annualized premium releases, and a monetized mobile game shows Activision has all the bases covered. The trifecta becomes much more potent when an online cross-platform, cross-progression, and cross-SKU framework ties these games together.
This forward-thinking plan is paying off big time. Throughout 2020, Call of Duty revenues were up 200% over last year, and drove Activision segment earnings to $3.9 billion (+78% YoY). In-game spending on microtransactions and battle passes in Call of Duty games is also up a whopping 50% in Q4, and helped spike the company's total-year mTX revenues to $4.8 billion.
Activision CFO Dennis Durkin notes Q4 earnings were up thanks to CoD:
"For the quarter, Activision revenue of $1.66 billion grew 16%, driven primarily by Call of Duty in-game revenues. Operating income rose 12% to $780 million, with an operating margin of 47%."
2021 will be another year of record earnings. Activision expects to make $8.22 billion in 2021, and confirms that Warzone will connect three mainline Call of Duty games throughout the year: Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War, and the new annualized CoD coming in 2021.
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