Activision quoted it for all the 435 million monthly active users [MAU] across all its properties, 1
Which means it wants all its other kids to grow up to be like Call of Duty, and that’s exactly what Activision is trying to achieve. During its same earnings call, Activision addressed the “multiple entry points” for the Call of Duty franchise across premium, free-to-play and mobile, citing this as a recipe for success it intends to implement in its other important properties.
“Call of Duty is the template we apply to our proven franchises as well as our new potential franchises as we try to expand our audience to a billion players,” said CEO Bobby Kotick.
Kotick later in the call said Activision-Blizzard would increase its operations over the next year and plan to hire over 2,000 developers, effectively tripling the size of “certain franchise teams” compared to their sizes in 2019. This expansion also includes new studies and extensions to existing studios, with Kotick citing Poland, China, Australia and China as regions that the company saw growing.It is not yet entirely clear what Kotick thinks about using Call of Duty as a “template”, although the publisher is likely to promote development efforts on the franchises that it wants to expand in that direction. A more obvious guess is the focus on several entry points, especially as the company recently said it had “more” free to play Warcraft mobile games under development and clearly takes a similar mobile tactic with Diablo. What’s a little clearer is who will be left out of this new plan when it emerged last week that Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys for Bob is turning from Crash development to Call of Duty support. While Activision has denied any explicit dismissal, a number of former employees have voluntarily left the studio recently, and several contractors did not get their contracts renewed.
All of this comes as Activision and Sledgehammer ready for the next Call of Duty premium release this fall, which Activision says is “on track” and is being developed for next-generation consoles. But given the interplay between Call of Duty Mobile, Warzone, premium games like Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, and possible integrations with Sledgehammer’s new games, it’s clear that no matter what happens to Activision’s other features, a Call of Duty universe of sorts is fast becoming even more of a top priority than it already was.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.