Mobile games development has become a “top priority” for Activision Blizzard amidst sweeping changes to its business.
Despite announcing record earnings, the publisher to lay off eight per cent of its workers - around 800 staff - as it refocuses on core franchise development. That’s also despite the fact it plans to hire more developers across the business.
As part of its plans moving forward the company aims to bring more of its major IP to mobile.
Activision Blizzard already signalled its intentions in the past with Call of Duty games in the works by Tencent and King, as well as Diablo Immortal set for smart devices. The latter was received particularly poorly by fans.
In an investor call for its latest financials, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha, Activision COO Coddy Johnson said mobile is now a “top priority for us and we think it’s one of our largest opportunities particularly with our global IP”.
“We see this every day with King where you have a franchise at scale globally, but we also see it with other great franchise like Hearthstone where bringing that game to mobile brought in 10s of millions of new players that are engaging in an ongoing and deep way with us,” said Johnson.
To scale up its mobile output, Johnson said Activision Blizzard was adding internal resources to “accelerate our mobile pipeline”, though suggested the publisher could also be open to working with external studios. This is something the company is already doing with the aforementioned Call of Duty (Tencent), Diablo Immortal (NetEase) and Skylanders Ring of Heroes (Com2uS)
It looks like all of the company’s biggest games could get mobile iterations. As well as the titles already mentioned, its portfolio includes Overwatch, StarCraft, Crash Bandicoot and more.
“As we look forward to the coming years, we plan for all of our major franchises to be operating at scale and capitalising on opportunities that include, robust ongoing live operations and regular content launches both large and small, strong mobile experiences available for all of the communities to enjoy, new engagement and monetisation models including where appropriate esports and advertising,” said Johnson.
“And underpinning all our franchises will be our deep relationships with growing and vibrant communities which are increasingly direct and digital.
“In short, we are refocusing the entire company to return to the franchise focus that has fueled our long-term success and to better leverage the scale of our business for future growth.”
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