If you were hoping that in-game transactions are a trend that will eventually pass, prepare to be disappointed because it looks like it is an extremely lucrative model. In fact according to Activision Blizzard’s latest financials, the company has revealed that in 2017 they have managed to pull in $4 billion in in-game transactions.
This shouldn’t be surprising considering that the games under the Activision Blizzard banner consist of a lot of extremely popular, triple-A titles. This includes Activision’s Call of Duty franchise, Destiny 1 & 2, and also Blizzard’s own games like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, all of which feature in-game transactions.
However it should be noted that these in-game transactions also take into account DLC content. Let’s not forget that in 2016, Activision Blizzard acquired King, the developer behind the insanely popular cash-generating machine, Candy Crush. However despite the various sources of income, it does go to show that on top of earning money from traditional sales of games that in-game transactions are equally, if not more, lucrative.
That being said, such models have come under fire as of late, where games featuring loot boxes are being investigated as a potential form of gambling. According to Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, “This was a record quarter to cap off a record year for Activision Blizzard. In 2017, our community reached new milestones for engagement, our business delivered record revenues and cash flows, and we made important progress in building future growth opportunities such as the Overwatch League. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities ahead in 2018 to continue serving our players and fans.”