Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been a major success for Activision Blizzard. According to the publisher's latest earning's report, the game has sold more units than any previous game in the franchise, and it also has more current players than any game in the franchise has had at this point in its lifespan. That longevity is a very good sign for the company, which also revealed $956 million in revenue generated from microtransactions and downloadable content in just the first quarter of 2020 alone. That number is up from $794 million in the first quarter of 2019. Those numbers account for Activision Blizzard as a whole, but players are clearly buying Modern Warfare and sticking with it, which is a great sign for the franchise as a whole.
While microtransactions and DLC can be frustrating when poorly implemented, they have proven to be a great way for publishers to recoup development costs. Video game development has grown increasingly costly over the console generations, while the MSRP of most games has remained fairly stable throughout the history of the industry. Developing new content for existing games is far cheaper for publishers, and it increases the shelf-life of those titles. Fans have often eyed the practice with skepticism, however, as publishers have been caught "holding content" for release later in a game's lifespan.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare isn't the only game in the franchise currently performing well for Activision Blizzard. The publisher has also revealed that Call of Duty: Warzone is now at 60 million players, to date. The free-to-play title released in March. While the game has performed quite well, it will be interesting to see whether or not the game can retain those numbers, as players have taken issue with the number of cheaters in the game. Developer Infinity Ward has made a strong effort to clamp down on players that cheat in the game, but it still appears to be a frequent issue for players.
Last but not least, Call of Duty: Mobile also seems to be performing well for the publisher. While specific figures were not laid out by Activision Blizzard, the publisher did cite increased interest and activity in the game starting in March.
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