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Here's How Much Money Activision And EA Make From Microtransactions

Bullet Club

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Here's How Much Money Activision And EA Make From Microtransactions

Check out the full numbers for two of the biggest gaming companies in the world--hint: it's a lot.

Two of the biggest gaming publishers in the business, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, have shared new numbers about how much money their games make from microtransactions--and it's a lot.

Activision Blizzard measures microtransactions through a bucket called "in-game net bookings," and these reached $956 million for the quarter ended March 31. That's up by $162 million (+20 percent) from $794 million during the same period last year.

Specifically, Activision said microtransaction sales for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare--the highest selling Call of Duty game of all time--during the quarter "more than doubled" compared to microtransaction sales for Black Ops 4.

Modern Warfare's microtransactions come in part from the game's battle pass, which is shared with the free-to-play battle royale game Warzone. Activision regularly releases new customization items to buy outside of the battle pass, too, including various marijuana-related items to celebrate 4/20. Modern Warfare was notable from a monetization standpoint, as it ditched the franchise's traditional season pass model in favor of giving all maps away for free, and replacing the Season Pass with the Battle Pass.

Activision Blizzard also made a lot of microtransaction money from Call of Duty: Mobile's Season 5 release. This new launch led to the "highest monthly in-game net bookings" for the game since Season 1, Activision Blizzard said.

Activision Blizzard also generates microtransaction revenue from basically all of its other games, including World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and of course, its numerous mobile games from subsidiary King (Candy Crush).

Moving to Electronic Arts, the company measures microtransactions through a label called "live services." For the quarter ended March 31, EA made $789 million from live services, which is down from $845 million from the same period last year (which benefited from the launch of Apex Legends). For the trailing 12 months, EA has been a whopping $2.779 billion from live services. This is not a full or a complete picture of how much money EA makes from microtransactions, as revenue from mobile ($138 million) and full-game downloads ($190 million) are not counted toward live services.

EA also commented on the microtransaction revenue, saying last year's Q4 figures benefitted from the launch of Apex Legends, making it a difficult comparison. On the brighter side, EA said its Ultimate Team modes "grew strongly."

"The year-on-year decrease is driven by the massive launch of Apex Legends a year ago, offset by growth across the rest of our live services. Ultimate Team grew strongly through fiscal 2020," EA said.



In 2018, EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke about how EA is committed to microtransactions--so long as they are handled responsibly and in a fair manner.

"Going forward, we believe that live services that include optional digital monetization, when done right, provide a very important element of choice that can extend and enhance the experience in our games," Wilson said. "We're committed to continually working with our players to deliver the right experience in each of our games and live services."

Source: IGN
 

diffusionx

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And this is why it is never going to go away.

It's interesting to think about EA. Their revenue back on PS3/360, when they released games that people actually liked, like Mass Effect and Dead Space, their revenue was around $4B-$4.5B. Now they make awful games that nobody likes, but they've almost totally made up for it by selling virtual bullshit in their crappy live service games. It's like they don't even need to try to make good games anymore (Activision certainly isn't).
 

Arkam

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YUP! On Tiger Woods we made millions on MTX and DLC courses. I am a huge fan of optional MTX and DLC. Some people really would rather give you a dollar than unlock something the 'hard' way. The problem is how quickly quality MTX/DLC becomes predatory in order to squeeze a bit more.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Last DLC I bought was Modern Warfare 3, map pack 1.

Looking at those EA charts above, it goes to show little sales big pubs actually make selling games. Most of it is online content.
 

Meowzers

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Ruins any chance for good offline modes on Fifa. The reason why Fifa career mode is crap is because of MTX like this.

I don't think they'll ever get banned. Heard some news last year, but that's pretty much died down.
 

D.Final

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YUP! On Tiger Woods we made millions on MTX and DLC courses. I am a huge fan of optional MTX and DLC. Some people really would rather give you a dollar than unlock something the 'hard' way. The problem is how quickly quality MTX/DLC becomes predatory in order to squeeze a bit more.

I agree
Especially with EA
 
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haxan7

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Modern games are expensive as fuck to make. I don’t agree with this trend of labeling companies that make money from microtransactions as evil greedy corporations.

You know who else does that? Socialists. There’s a reason capitalist societies work and socialist societies crumble. Game companies are doing what they need to do to give consumers what they’ll pay for.
 

Aidah

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I contributed zero dollars. Not brain-dead enough to want garbage, let alone pay for it, and not dumb enough to be manipulated into wanting garbage.
 
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godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
Mar 15, 2007
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FIFA Ultímate Team is too addictive, EA has found the magic formula for predatory micro transaction. I often see teams that cost a couple thousand dollars to build. My team cost me a couple hundred for example.
 
Dec 22, 2019
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Modern games are expensive as fuck to make. I don’t agree with this trend of labeling companies that make money from microtransactions as evil greedy corporations.

You know who else does that? Socialists. There’s a reason capitalist societies work and socialist societies crumble. Game companies are doing what they need to do to give consumers what they’ll pay for.
MM its more like if you dont buy our crappy product "BF5" Then your a biggot is the product of a socialist enterprise not only does it show entitlement it also shows a you take it or else approach. EA making games that solely revolve around MTX is pure greed yes games are expecsive to make but when you see the people they bring in and how much they waste on Hollywood writters, Activist, and ad spots that are over priced thats where the over inflation comes in.
 
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haxan7

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MM its more like if you dont buy our crappy product "BF5" Then your a biggot is the product of a socialist enterprise not only does it show entitlement it also shows a you take it or else approach. EA making games that solely revolve around MTX is pure greed yes games are expecsive to make but when you see the people they bring in and how much they waste on Hollywood writters, Activist, and ad spots that are over priced thats where the over inflation comes in.
I think you raise some good points, but I also have to point out that it’s not just EA who’s made massive profits from micro transactions. Rockstar is (or was) the least politically correct game company, and they have the most profitable product. GTA Online made more money than basically anything ever and it all came from microtransactions (buying in game currency).

Capitalism is an ingenious system because it lets people vote with every penny of they spend. Last time I checked EA announced that they were ending support for BF5.
 

TUROK

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I shoulda gotten into this vidya business.

You get to make gamers angry AND they still give you money? Sheeeeeeeeit.
 

KaiserBecks

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It’s good to see using the battlepass approach for modern warfare is working out for them. You dont have to spend a dime and still get new modes, maps and guns. Not to mention Warzone being free.
 
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vaibhavpisal

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This is like voluntary donation to a shrine. You put in a coin or 2.

Everyone thinks it's nothing for them. Slowly it becomes mind boggling amount as people increase.
 

Bogroll

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FIFA Ultímate Team is too addictive, EA has found the magic formula for predatory micro transaction. I often see teams that cost a couple thousand dollars to build. My team cost me a couple hundred for example.
Im not knocking you, I just don't get it, I used to play Pes ,build a team in master league and then go online with that. Is there no modes like that on Fifa ?I wouldn't get any satisfaction out of beating someone who had a weak team and I had a powerful team I'd paid for. Heck most the satisfaction is to beat a superior team to yours, I used to love beating Barcelona etc on Pes online.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned 😀
 
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DaleinCalgary

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Yes they are dumb but for some reason I have enjoyed the few micro transactions I've done in modern warfare. I have never done them in any other console game.
 

Bonfires Down

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I don’t really mind since I get free games and content and the userbase is not split up. Loot boxes should be banned though.
 

Tekkie

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This is why you don't see real gameplay innovation from most devs anymore, all of those resources go into innovating how to "encourage" player spending inside of the gameplay. We're farm animals for them at this point.
 

Saruhashi

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Pretty amazing numbers.

Makes me feel like I have some outdated mindset where I just want to buy a game will all the content included and play it until it's complete.

These days it seems like you get the base game (sometimes free) and then you are asked to keep on paying to get more and more extra content.

FIFA Ultimate Team seems like the worst of all since you are essentially paying money to take the best team into online games?
Less about skill and more about who paid most to get the packs that have all the good players?
Then you only have those players for a set number of matches?
 

Saber

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Jan 30, 2019
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"But its lots of money"

Money make out of shit, scum content. Your name is on the trashcam, if you even care about that.

The last game I bought from this crap was Sims 2, ages ago.
 
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synchronicity

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I don't begrudge a company for selling what they can sell as long as they deliver what feels like a complete game from the start. Sometimes that is the case, and sometimes it isn't.

Personally, the only money I've ever spent in my life on micro-transactions/DLC was a 99 cent costume pack for my main, Eileen, in Virtua Fighter 5 FS. And I only felt good doing that because I got the game free in the first place.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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FIFA Ultímate Team is too addictive, EA has found the magic formula for predatory micro transaction. I often see teams that cost a couple thousand dollars to build. My team cost me a couple hundred for example.
You're probably the only person I've ever seen admit to buying microtrans. Got to give you props for that.

99.99% of gamers on forums will say they don't buy anything, yet somehow big gaming companies are making billions on revenue on digital items.
 

EverydayBeast

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I remember when they introduced map packs to Call of Duty like it were yesterday now all of a sudden they're dressing up characters, and customizing everything.
 

BlitzerRadic

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You're probably the only person I've ever seen admit to buying microtrans. Got to give you props for that.

99.99% of gamers on forums will say they don't buy anything, yet somehow big gaming companies are making billions on revenue on digital items.

I've spent thousands on mtx over the years. If I see an mtx in the future that interests me, I'll buy it and I'm perfectly fine with it. To me it's not any different than spending money for options on a car, for example.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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I remember when they introduced map packs to Call of Duty like it were yesterday now all of a sudden they're dressing up characters, and customizing everything.
Ya.

Gears first map pack I remember was 800 pts ($10), then Call of Duty 4 did $15 map packs and there was polarizing comments as either worth it or a rip off.

Now, companies are making billions from selling weapon skins and celebration dances. I guess making an online character a real life persona is that important for some people.
 
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TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
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I've only paid for the battlepass once.
Guess there are a lot of people buying packs and jumping tiers
 

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
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I've had a ton of fun recently with CoD Season 3 and FFXIV. Fully on board with Service games.



Bitches know when my senpai is on the way they better run.
 
Dec 25, 2018
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With most Sporting Events cancelled til at least next year, will FIFA 21 recycle the same roster and somehow make MORE money from FUT or actually LOSE money?

At this rate EA are better off just adding an expansion for the FUT season and watch them get egged on as soon as they take it away from FIFA 2022, making their excuse to upgrade to the next gameevery year a moot point. :LOL:
 
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StormCell

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This is why I have just written EA off as an actual publisher of games. I just assume that they're happier making the stuff that they make now, kinda like Konami, and that they don't actually make games anymore. They don't make anything I'm even slightly interested in.

They might publish a good C&C remastered, but that will have to be seen.
 
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jakinov

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Nice to see mobile decreasing.
I don't think it's a good indicator of the mobile gaming industry as a whole though. There are so many new huge mobile game companies and it's arguably not as expensive of trying to get into the console market so there's a lot of competition that are small as well.