In a report about their Second Quarter revenue, Call of Duty publishers Activision Blizzard have revealed that they’ve made bank on microtransactions. CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed the following statistics about Black Ops 4 and its microtransactions:
“Activision had 37 million MAUs. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 MAUs grew year-over-year versus Call of Duty: WWII, and hours played increased by more than 50%...
For Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, net booking from in-game items grew year-over-year versus Call of Duty: WWII and are ahead of WWII on a comparable life-to-date basis.”
Across all their franchises, Activision Blizzard made $800 million from microtransactions alone.
As this writer mentioned before, we’re not inherently against microtransactions. It’s the ones that feature gambling mechanics and encourage game addiction that we’re worried about. This writer is curious to know exactly how microtransaction sales from Black Ops 4 break down. Were they for guaranteed items, or for mere chances at winning the game-changing items behind the luck wall?
If the most profitable sales of microtransactions were for gambling chances, then the Call of Duty franchise is in trouble. Randomized loot boxes with game-changing winnings have been demonstrated to be exploitative of those with the propensity for gambling addiction. And with multiple nations, including the United States, threatening legislation against loot boxes for this reason, the major console makers are now forcing game publishers to disclose odds of winning items in loot boxes in an effort to mitigate their effects.
It should also be noted that while Activision Blizzard is making serious money off of microtransactions for Black Ops 4, overall game sales for Black Ops 4 itself are down compared to WWII, the previous Call of Duty game.
Featured image via Treyarch.