US publishing giant Activision Blizzard has said that more than 250 million people played its Call of Duty series last year.
Speaking to investors – as transcribed by Motley Fool – CEO Robert Kotick (pictured) said that this is triple the number of people who engaged with its blockbuster shooter in 2018. This has been driven by not only the mobile release of Call of Duty, but also the free-to-play console and PC battle royale title Warzone.
In its financial release for the 2020 fiscal year, Activision said that Call of Duty had sustained more than 100 million monthly active users. In the quarter ending December 2020, the series boasted 128 million MAUs. Free-to-play isn't the only thing driving this kind of engagement; sales of premium titles rose by more than 40 per cent year-on-year.
"In 2020, we introduced even more ways for players to connect and find community, particularly in Call of Duty," Kotick said.
"Our approach to the franchise has become the road map we are now applying to many of our other games. Within Call of Duty, we have meaningfully expanded social connections and improved engagement through free-to-play experiences on mobile phones, computers and game consoles. These initiatives expanded franchise reach with over 250 million people playing Call of Duty last year, more than tripling the 70 million people who played Call of Duty in 2018.
"Our approach has made the franchise more social than ever, benefiting both our players and our business performance. Call of Duty players who play in groups with friends spend over three times more hours in the game and invest around three times more on in-game content compared to other players. And we've really only just started to scratch the surface of what's possible for social interaction within our franchises, and we have initiatives under way to enhance the social nature of all of our key franchises. Call of Duty has also established a clear blueprint for franchise-based innovation and we're applying this strategy across our other core franchises to grow reach, engagement and player investment."