At PC Gamer, we don’t often report on strictly business-related matters, but there’s an interesting little tidbit hidden in Activision Blizzard’s recent Q2 2022 financial report. (opens in a new tab): In the three months ending June 30, more than half of the company’s total revenue came from mobile games, more than PC and console games combined.
Activision Blizzard earned $332 million from PC in the quarter and $376 million from combined console sales. That’s a lot of money! In the “mobile and auxiliary” category, however – which, according to Activision Blizzard, “primarily includes mobile device revenue”, the company took in $831 million for the quarter. It generated an additional $105 million in revenue for the quarter in the “Other” category, which includes revenue from its distribution business and the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues, but even if you add that amount to PC revenue and consoles, it’s still not enough to exceed the total mobile revenues.
That’s quite a change from the same quarter in 2021, when console and mobile revenue were much more closely aligned. Console revenue was $740 million for the quarter, or 32% of the total, while mobile phone revenue was $795 million, or 35% of the quarterly total. PC came in third with $628 million, or 27% of Activision Blizzard’s revenue for the quarter.
This comparison also reveals, of course, that mobile is the only platform to experience year-over-year revenue growth: while PC and consoles (and the “Other” category) are on a strong decline, mobile actually saw a 5% increase. Activision blamed the drop on “lower engagement for the Call of Duty franchise” and lower World of Warcraft net bookings compared to the same quarter last year, when the Burning Crusade Classic expansion is exit. The decline of the pandemic surge that has benefited PC and home console gaming may also be a slowing factor.
It’s worth noting that the bulk of Activision Blizzard’s mobile revenue came from King, the mobile social game publisher that Activision acquired in 2016. (That’s also the “K” in ABK Workers’ Alliance (opens in a new tab)by the way.) King reported total revenue of $684 million in the quarter, or more than 82% of the $831 million in total mobile revenue for the quarter, largely due to the remarkably persistent popularity of Candy Crush, which remained the most profitable product. games franchise in US app stores for the 20th straight quarter – that’s a solid five years.
Still, the results clearly illustrate why Activision Blizzard is pushing hard with mobile game development, even in the face of backlash from its PC and console audiences. Diablo Immortal is the obvious case: it has come under fierce criticism (opens in a new tab) on its monetization program, but it is also hugely successful, having reached 30 million players and around $100 million (opens in a new tab) just two months after launch.
Activision Blizzard also said in its quarterly report that Call of Duty Mobile revenue was “in line” with the prior quarter – meaning people didn’t stop playing it in significant numbers – and that continues to move forward with a mobile version of Call of Duty: Warzone (opens in a new tab)and Warcraft: Arclight Rumble (opens in a new tab) mobile strategy game, which is currently being tested in limited regions.