The Candy Crush series made so much money in 2018 that you might want to stop reading right now unless you like getting tension headaches.
Candy Crush Saga—a game that came out in 2012—made $945 million, while its newest title, Candy Crush Friends Saga, earned $3 million since its launch in October. The series as a whole added nearly 230 million new players, which is a 17 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Candy Crush wasn’t the only mobile game that made an insane amount of money in 2018. Pokémon Go earned an average of $2.2 million per day last year, bringing its total to $795 million—a 35 percent increase from 2017. Fortnite, meanwhile, made $455 million on iOS in 2018, surpassing a total revenue earning of $1 billion across all platforms back in July. The common denominator across all these titles is that all reported revenue was earned from microtransactions.
The amount of revenue that Candy Crush earned represents an ongoing trend for Activision Blizzard, which acquired Candy Crush publisher King in 2015 for $5.9 billion. In 2017, the publisher made $4 billion from microtransactions across all its properties, with half of that coming from Candy Crush and King’s other properties. We expect that Activision Blizzard will top that $4 billion when 2018’s reports start coming in within the next few weeks, with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Destiny 2: Forsaken, plus the continued success of Blizzard’s other properties. It definitely explains why Netflix was so keen on poaching the company’s former CFO, Spencer Neumann, at the beginning of 2019.
With free-to-play titles bringing in bank for Activision Blizzard, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Michael Pachter’s predictions about Overwatch and Black Ops 4 come true. However, the guy also thinks that The Elder Scrolls VI is coming out in 2019, so maybe don’t believe every word he says.