Activision Blizzard’s annual shareholder report had some nice tidbits in it. (Some of which I’ve already linked into some of the specific game threads.) The company made $6.61 billion revenue overall.
One of the big data points was that the company made $3.6 billion revenue from in-game purchases. 126% growth over last year for the same sector of the business. That’s loot boxes from Overwatch, Call of Duty supply drops, Hearthstone packs, Heroes of the Storm characters, WoW Tokens and pets, mobile game microtransactions, and anything else you buy in one of their in-game stores.
Specifically, Activision called out the in-game purchases from Overwatch and World of Warcraft as being at “record levels of quarterly and full year” strength.
Don’t expect loot crate gambling to go anywhere soon.
WoW in-game gold was heavily inflated in the previous expansion, which handed it out for running facebook-type missions. This led to tons of players paying for their subscriptions by purchasing tokens for in-game gold.
The result of this is that a portion of WoW’s income previously coming from direct subscription payments is now classified as DLC. The proportion is unknown, but it is fairly popular. WoW is definitely in decline but it still has millions of subscribers.
It isn’t quite a zero-sum game. Each token costs $20, while a monthly subscription is $15 and you get hefty discounts if you pay for a year in advance. So Activision is definitely profiting from the rise in players subscribing via tokens-- just not quite as much as it sounds.
Witch Mercy is hot and all that, but fuck loot boxes, so it’s rather easy for me to ignore them. Except for the fact that it has a huge effect on development focus - yay more event skins to part the fools from their money, rather than actual meaningful content like maps and permanent game modes.
And yet we’ve gotten 3 free maps, 2 free characters, 2 new game modes, and continuous balance tuning since launch, with private servers and custom rules coming next patch. All supported by fools like me buying loot boxes.
Diablo3 has gotten several new maps, new gametypes, tons of new legendary items enabling new playstyles, new mechanics like kanai’s cube, set dungeons, and holiday events. All supported by the initial purchase of the game.
It isn’t unique, The Witcher 3 received tons of free updates too.
I mean, I’m generally fine with cosmetic microtransactions. But that isn’t the only way.
Agreed, @sharaleo if you want to get really screwed on content come play Street Fighter 5 with me. Not only do you barely get any content, none of it is free, plus the game hardly works unless your opponent is your next door neighbor.
Overwatch is like paradise by comparison. Plus I like the loot boxes, it’s a fun reward for an evening of play. :)