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Activision Blizzard has eyes on battle royale's mobile success

Activision Blizzard has eyes on battle royale's mobile success

The bosses over at Activision Blizzard have been acutely aware of the ongoing battle royale craze and are equally enthused by its popularity on mobile.

In a recent investors call following the company's Q1 FY18 financial report, Activision COO Coddy Johnson noted the genre’s ability to bring in new players to shooter franchises along with its good performance on mobile.

"New battle royale modes that have recently entered the space have compelling survivor mechanics and large, in-game player pools,” said Johnson, as reported by Seeking Alpha.

“They have also brought tens of millions of completely new players into gaming both on traditional platforms like console and PC, but also on newer platforms for the genre like mobile. We are very, very encouraged by this."

CEO Bobby Kotick added: “When we see people innovate in an interesting and impactful way, we are very quick to figure out how to capture inspiration from innovation. When we see things that appeal to our audiences, we are very good at being inspired by those”

Winner winner, chicken dinner

The interest comes with good reason as the battle royale genre has proven lucrative on mobile thus far.

Epic’s mobile port of Fortnite has been a runaway success with $25 million in worldwide revenue in its first month alone, despite starting out as invite-only in March and not being released in China.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is no slouch either, Tencent’s PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield and PUBG: Army Attack were the two most downloaded apps worldwide on the iOS App Store in the days following their launch despite only being launched in China.

The genre has also proved popular in other Asian territories outside of China.

Chinese publisher NetEase’s Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds clone Knives Out pulled in global sales of $24 million in February, with 80 per cent of sales outside of China coming from Japan.

Call of Duty, anyone?

When it comes to what Activision Blizzard might do in the battle royale market, the Call of Duty IP is the most probable destination. A variant of the genre is already being tested on the Chinese version of Call of Duty: Online.

King’s Sweden studio is also currently working on a new Call of Duty mobile game that was announced last year. The publisher has been trying to get into midcore games for quite some time but has yet to find success.

Given the huge success of battle royale titles, it could be that King is looking at a Call of Duty BR on mobile, given the comments of the COO and CEO.

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Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.

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Ester Alves
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Claren Flores
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