Despite rising concerns about the state of the game, Activision promises that Warzone will be its top priority for a long time yet.
In a recent earnings call for Activision Blizzard, the company discussed the success of the Call of Duty franchise. The publisher also touched on its plans for the future, and where its priorities will lie.
It seems that there's good news ahead for Warzone fans, despite concerns that the game could be having issues.
Activision Blizzard Q4 2020 Earnings Call Recap
In the company's recent earnings report, Activision Blizzard confirms that Call of Duty had over 250 million players in 2020.
This is of course split between mainline titles like Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War. It also includes free games such as Warzone and COD: Mobile.
This figure is more than triple the volume of 2018's player base, which was reported at 70 million users. It appears that Activision wants to build further on the free to play models of Warzone and CoD Mobile as the company expands the brand.
What's more, it appears that the success of Call of Duty will soon be applied to other brands. Franchises such as Warcraft and Candy Crush may soon implement several features from the ongoing CoD strategy.
"2020 was an extraordinary year for reach, engagement and player investment in our Call of Duty franchise," confirms President and COO Daniel Alegre. "Live to date, consumer spending of around $27 billion makes it one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time, yet the franchise delivered a structural change in 2020 with net bookings approximately doubling year over year."
What's more, Activision expects further growth for Call of Duty this year, as the brand continues to report excellent numbers. It wouldn't be surprising for this to prove correct, since Black Ops Cold War was the best-selling game of 2020.
In fact, since the launch of Cold War, Activision reports a 70% increase in active users year over year. Player time in-game has also "more than doubled" since this point.
Despite players being unhappy with the Cold War implementation in Warzone, it appears the move was a financial success. According to the financial report, "premium sales" grew sharply in December and January.
Warzone and Cold War Season 1 also contributed to the most battle passes sales since the launch of Warzone. And microtransaction purchases are increasing too, particularly on the mobile Call of Duty title.
Warzone Is Activision's Priority in 2021
In a Q&A section, following the earning's report, Chief Executive Officer Rob Kotick confirms Activision's top priority.
Answering a question regarding the future of Warzone, Kotick assures the asker that the battle royale isn't going anywhere.
"Warzone is going to be front and center for us for a long time. And on that front, I'd like to take a moment to thank our players for their content and continuous feedback on all aspects of the game. It's something we listen to you each and every day, and it's important to our process."
The Activision CEO also notes that any further integrations with Warzone will go a lot smoother than with Cold War. This is good news for the upcoming Call of Duty 2021, which is already on its way.
The full earning report shows that Activision has major confidence in the Call of Duty brand.
And with the success of the new Black Ops Cold War Zombies map, we can understand why.
Now, Activision is already teasing Warzone Season 2 with a new cutscene. With the start date of Warzone Season 2 just around the corner, the company likely hopes to sell even more battle passes this time around.