Activision Blizzard, not to be outdone by Take-Two, just revealed how much money it made off microtransactions in 2017, and the figure is crazy.
Revenue earned from DLC, loot boxes, and in-app purchases for Activision Blizzard properties reached the record sum of $4 billion last year, with over $1 billion of that coming from last quarter alone.
To be fair, Activision Blizzard mobile subsidiary King (you know, the company behind Candy Crush) earned half of that total, with Activision Blizzard’s own games—little-known titles like Overwatch, Hearthstone, Call of Duty: WWII, Destiny 2, etc.—earning the other $2 billion in microtransactions.
Even more remarkably, Activision’s total revenues for the fiscal year totaled $7.16 billion, meaning in-game purchases and DLC are responsible for more than half of all the money the company brought in.
Back in July 2017, research firm SuperData predicted that digital sales for the entire video game industry would earn $7.8 billion, with $4 billion of that coming from microtransactions and DLC. That prediction now seems quaint, seeing as how Activision Blizzard hit that total on its own.
Microtransactions (and, specifically, loot boxes) became a target of political scrutiny in the end of 2017 after Star Wars Battlefront II dragged the issue into the spotlight with its pay-to-win loot box controversy (and is now, ironically, reinstating loot boxes in the game). But don’t expect things to change anytime soon, as 29 percent of developers stated in a recent GDC survey that their games will include “paid DLC/updates.” Well, Acitivison Blizzard just gave four billion reasons as to why that’s the case.