Activision Blizzard ATVI, in collaboration with Tencent TCEHY, recently revealed that the public beta version of Call of Duty: Mobile is scheduled to be available in some selected regions this summer.
The game, which was previously expected to be launched only in China, is now expanding its footprint in other regions including North America, South America and Europe.
COD: Mobile is a free-to-play game launched exclusively for Android and iPhone users. Notably, interested players can pre-register for the game and receive updates regarding the same.
The game amasses maps, weapons and characters across its Call of Duty franchise, including Black Ops and the Modern Warfare series. To lure users, the different competitive modes include Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy and Free-For-All, among others.
The game aims to boosts user engagement by unlocking Call of Duty characters, weapons and score streaks, as the players continue playing and defeating their opponents.
Free-to-Play Games Era
Today, the Gaming industry is dominated by games that are free-to-play and feature a battle royale (BR) mode, which includes Tencent’s Fortnite and Electronic Arts EA Apex Legends, among others.
The recently launched Apex Legends is catching eyeballs that has aided the company in expanding its user base. Per reports, the game garnered 50 million players within a month and became the number one game on Twitch within 24 hours of its release.
Fortnite still remains a frontrunner in this space, boasting a total registered player base of more than 200 million.
Notably, Activision too is looking to gain from this strategy. COD: Mobile will put together a battle royale mode from Black Ops 4 and lure users on the back of its free-to-play strategy. This is expected to bode well for the company in the near term.
Call of Duty: Key Growth Driver
The Call of Duty franchise is one of the biggest growth drivers for Activision. Notably, the game has been the top-selling console franchise for Activision in nine of the past ten years.
The company’s latest title, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 instantly became a hit as it sold more units than Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Additionally, full-game downloads of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 were 40% more than the console platform.
To further monetise from the franchise, Activision has now shifted from the physical version of the game to a digital platform, which is more profitable due to minimum packaging cost.
This cost effectiveness helps publishers to use the digital format to keep a popular franchise running profitably over a longer period of time. Notably, digital revenues contributed 75% to total revenues in fourth-quarter 2018.
Given the fact that Activision will not be coming up with any major game release in 2019, the company is expected to face stiff competition from the likes of Take Two Interactive TTWO and Electronic Arts.
Take Two’s recent release of Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey and EA’s Apex Legends are expected to hurt Activision’s market share in the near term.
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Tencent Holding Ltd. (TCEHY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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