Activision Is Planning More Mobile Games, All Franchises Under Consideration

Activision is interested in ramping up its mobile game development. During an earnings call, Activision Blizzard president and chief operating officer Coddy Johnson said the company is looking at every one of its franchises to potentially bring to mobile.

He started off by reminding people that Activision Blizzard is already a company that is focused on mobile devices, with one-third of its total business coming from mobile. This is no doubt fueled in part by King, the mobile giant behind Candy Crush that Activision acquired in 2015.

“A third of our business is on mobile already. We have the largest mobile gaming presence in the west. So we want to build on that leadership position. We think it’s a foundation of strength to do that. [Mobile] is a massive opportunity, and we think not just for Call of Duty and not just for Diablo Immortal,” Johnson said.

The executive added that mobile devices are becoming more and more powerful, and this is helping Activision to adapt its traditional AAA franchises to smaller screens.

“The AAA kinds of games we make are ready to work on mobile because of the improving compute and graphics capability [of the mobile devices],” he said. “And honestly because of evolving player expectations. It’s now the case that many of the most successful global games are first-person action, strategy; those all align, as you might imagine, very well with our portfolio. [And] we have a growing ability to execute”

Johnson went on to say that Activision is uniquely positioned for success in the mobile market because it owns some of the biggest names in gaming. He pointed out that Call of Duty Mobile‘s recent release was enormously successful, with 100 million downloads, and this level of success might have only been possible because Call of Duty is such an established brand.

“We’re seeing that franchise familiarity and awareness matter–they matter fundamentally to the tune of hundreds of millions of people. When you reach out in the right way with franchises they’re willing to come in. So let’s the level of opportunity we see,” he said.

Johnson was asked directly if Activision might bring World of Warcraft or Overwatch to mobile, but he wouldn’t confirmed anything. However, he teased that Activision is considering “all of our franchises” for potential adaptation to the mobile market.

“In terms of what we’ll make, you might imagine we’re looking at all of our franchises. We want to do it where it makes sense,” he said.

Activision will consider releasing new mobile games under three main brackets. The first of these is a game that would “extend existing gameplay,” with Call of Duty Mobile as an example of that. Johnson pointed out that Call of Duty Mobile has maps, weapons, and characters from the console version, and similar adaptations could happen for other franchises. Johnson teased that Activision sees “a number of opportunities” to do this with other series.

Activision would also consider releasing mobile games that are “reimaginations” of a console/PC title. The card game Hearthstone–which exists in the Warcraft universe–was an example of this, Johnson said, and he teased that Activision has “a number of ideas like that” looking ahead. The third bracket is a “true cross-platform title” that is cross-compatible between console/PC and mobile right from the start, Johnson said.

Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest on Activision’s plans for more mobile games. In other news, Activision announced that it made $700 million from microtransactions in the last quarter.




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