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Microtransactions Pay Off Big For Activision Blizzard

Microtransactions Pay Off Big For Activision Blizzard

Microtransactions are a huge source of revenue for the video game publisher Activision Blizzard. The company announced today in an earnings report that revenue from “in-game net bookings,” which contains DLC sales, loot boxes, and in-app purchases on mobile games, reached $4 billion in 2017. The fourth quarter alone secured the company $1 billion for additional content sold.

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Around $2 billion of Activision Blizzard’s revenue in 2017 came from in-game net booking’s in their mobile subsidiary, King, which owns and operates Candy Crush. The other $2 billion came from Activision Blizzard’s console and PC efforts, along with the rest of their mobile ventures like Hearthstone. These two revenue streams were pointed out by Daniel Ahmad, an industry analyst, on Twitter.

More Games, More Money

Call of Duty: WWII offers microtransactions that give players their own in-game currency, Call of Duty Points. These points can then be used to purchase in-game items like loot boxes that net players cosmetics for their avatars. Additionally, Activision recently launched the first paid DLC pack, Resistance, which is being sold at $14.99 USD. In Overwatch, players spend their money on loot boxes that offer a variety of different skins and other cosmetic items. World of Warcraft also offers a vast in-game economy allowing players to spend real-world money on mounts, pets, and a host of other items.

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The Trend Continues

Microtransactions are a growing trend throughout the gaming industry with many companies jumping on the bandwagon. EA recently suffered serious backlash with their title Star Wars Battlefront II, which players believed contained a very hostile microtransaction system.

Not every modern game contains a microtransaction system. However, it is becoming a major profit earner and difficult to ignore for many businesses in the industry. Especially when Activision Blizzard was able to put up numbers like the $4 billion in revenue earned. Hopefully, gamers can continue to fight toxic systems like the one EA tried to put in place and show developers what a proper loot box structure should look like.

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New Crash Bandicoot Rumor and Gamers Heads Spin

New Crash Bandicoot Rumor and Gamers Heads Spin

Activision is rumored to be working on a brand new Crash Bandicoot game. With the incredible success of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, selling over 2 million copies, it would be a good move for the company and for gamers. The rumor broke after people spotted the ‘Spring 2018 issue of Licensing Source Book Europe’. This game may have been a breakout hit but there is still no confirmed reports by Activision on if they will be delivering a new Crash Bandicoot game in 2019. There is, however, a lot of evidence pointing to it being a reality.

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Max Arguile, a manager of the merchandising company GB Eye reportedly shared some information he may not have had permission to disclose. “The new game was a huge success at retail with no marketing spend. Next year it will be going broader (Switch and PC) and there will be another game in 2019,” he said. “Activision has a five-year plan for this and GB Eye is delighted to be fully on board for all products.” http://bit.ly/2E5ZRrM

It would make sense for Activision to ride the Crash wave as long as possible. This PlayStation exclusive took the spot for the top-selling remastered collection in Sony’s recent history. With the rumors causing so much excitement and the previous success of the remastered collection, it looks like Activision would be able to drop a successful new Crash Bandicoot game tomorrow without spending a dime on marketing once again. 

The Rumor Mill Keeps On Spinning

The rumors don’t stop at just a 2019 release. Those precarious parentheses in the alleged quote recorded by IGN did hold the names of two important consoles, Switch and PC. With the runaway success of the Switch and the massive popularity of PC gaming, a Crash Bandicoot game would be a wonderful addition to both consoles. Still, this is just a rumor but one that holds a lot of validity since Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was such a money maker. Opening up its audience would mean even more access to gamers wallets.

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Gigamax Games will be keeping a close eye on the progression of these developments surrounding the brand new Crash Bandicoot game that could possibly be released in 2019. Be sure to check back on this page for any updates or additional news from Activision. The gaming world couldn’t believe the headlines and with good reason, they’re not confirmed. However, let’s keep those fingers crossed because a new Crash Bandicoot game would put a smile on millions of gamers faces around the world.

Gameplay Anyone?

If you haven’t had the chance to see gameplay from the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, this will help. Hope you enjoy!

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Sources:

http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/gamingnews/rumor-new-crash-bandicoot-coming-in-2019-r1483/

http://www.ibtimes.com/new-crash-bandicoot-game-rumored-be-released-activision-2019-2650114

http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/02/05/new-crash-bandicoot-game-rumoured-for-2019

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/09/24/crash-bandicoot-n-sane-trilogy-has-sold-over-2-5-million-copies-on-ps4/#69de39655a70

Call of Duty: WW2 Beta Adjustments

Call of Duty: WW2 Beta Adjustments

Call of Duty: WW2’s first beta wrapped up on August 27th and overall the game was received well by the community. There were some obvious adjustments that needed to be made such as balancing issues but the fans made sure the developers knew about them. Sledgehammer, a subsidiary of Activision, is heading the Call of Duty: WW2 project and they’re taking gamers comments to heart. Players can expect the second beta to feature some improvements that could deliver a more refined experience.

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“New Maps and Modes”

Before diving into the most notable updates, Sledgehammer hinted at another bit of exciting news. In their blog post, before the update information, they mentioned hearing feedback on playlist variety and are working to improve it. The next sentence stated, “You know what else would improve it? More maps and modes.” New maps and additional game modes would make an already exciting beta even more entertaining.

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If you want to add feedback, Sledgehammer is taking suggestions on their official Reddit thread.

Major Improvements and Updates

– DOM kills are increased to 100pts, up from 50.

– TDM end match score is now set at 100

– Improvements are being made to hit feedback which includes better audio and a more prominent headshot indicator.

– They are reducing Molotov to x1 per Scorestreak.

– Default incendiary shells is turned off and they mentioned a future nerf is possible.

– Expect Paratrooper strength / cost balancing.

– They mention Recon Aircraft were found to be too vulnerable to rifle damage. 

– Color Blind support option will be added.

The list above includes the most major gameplay updates but you can find the full list on the official blog post

Be sure to check out the Live Stream of Call of Duty: WW2 beta below:

Beta Details

The second beta weekend begins on Friday, September 1st (10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET) and will continue through Monday, September 4th. It will be available on both PS4 and Xbox One and only to those who have preordered the game.

It was exciting to have the chance to see Call of Duty return to their roots and the beta delivered a fulfilling experience. Having the chance to play some Zombies would tie it all together however that isn’t necessarily out of the question when looking at Sledgehammer’s comments. Hopefully the developer continues to accept and embrace the feedback from the beta and makes adjustments along the way to deliver the best Call of Duty possible in November.

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Destiny 2 – How Bungie Plans To Improve

Destiny 2 – How Bungie Plans To Improve

Destiny 2 is nearly here and Activision shared some thoughts on how they plan to improve on the game’s design. The  original Destiny has been an insanely popular shooter ever since it dropped on the PlayStation 4 in 2014. The great graphics and exciting gameplay were able to keep players interested for a while but the community thrived on new DLC and post-release content. Slow to release and sometimes a let down, the community wanted more from these costly expansions and Destiny 2 is expected to address these issues.

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Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg shared some important thoughts with GI.biz, and it could point to more frequent and higher quality post-release content for Destiny 2. “I have not been happy with the cadence [of new content].” Hirshberg said. He continues on to explain “We got a lot right with Destiny 1, but one of the things we didn’t do was keep up with the demand for new content. I feel like that, as great as [DLC packs] The Dark Below. House of Wolves, The Taken King, and Rise of Iron all are, clearly there was appetite for more.” http://bit.ly/2uHGRqi

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

They aren’t just going to set big goals without any planning. Activision created a team of different studios to work alongside Bungie to produce higher quality and more plentiful content. High Moon, developers of the previous-gen versions of Advanced Warfare and Vicarious Visions which has up until now been exclusively working on the Skylanders series will be included on the new Destiny 2 post-release content team. Both of these developers are experienced and High Moon already has experience working with Bunie with the original Destiny.

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It would be nice to see more quality and expansive DLC’s for Destiny 2 after release. What would be even better is if Destiny 2 comes with a healthy amount of content on its own. We’re in a new era of gaming where DLCs drive the success of nearly any game forward. However, it is nice to see a developer strive to make these industry standard game additions worthwhile for the gamers.

With more information coming out about Destiny 2 almost every day, be sure to check back on Gigamax for the latest gaming updates.

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Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. recently announced the formation of a new division which will oversee Overwatch’s esports efforts. This will be a separate entity from Blizzard’s current Esports division and will use the Major League Gaming name and all of the organization’s assets which the company acquired in 2015 for $46 million. Blizzard made a statement back in November of 2016 that it planned to launch an Overwatch league with hopes of building the “world’s premier esports league.”

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The new division will oversee management, operation, sales and distribution for all Overwatch’s esports programs which include the upcomingOverwatch World Cup and Overwatch League. The Overwatch World Cup finals will take place at BlizzCon 2017. It will be interesting to see how the finals go as Blizzard has complete control over every facet of their hit titles’ championship event.

What’s The Official Word?

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“The new division which will retain the MLG name, will build on Blizzard’s nearly 20-year history as a leader in esports and leverage MLG’s extensive experience with live events and content distribution,” Blizzards press release read. “It will also operate the MLG-branded media network, which will broadcast both Blizzard and Activision esports content as well as other premium gaming programming.” http://pvp.live/2q1Rxkr

Blizzard thinks Overwatch is the next big thing and it’s beginning to look as if they’re absolutely right. However, the organization isn’t putting all their eggs in one basket. Their other games will continue to be run by Blizzard’s original team for games like, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, leveraging the MLG division’s sales, media production and distribution capabilities along the way.

Nowhere To Go But Up

Esports continues to become more popular, gaining international attention and expanding every year. Blizzard is an economic powerhouse and it’ll be exciting to see how far Overwatch can go in the esports world with a dedicated division focused on the development and expansion of Overwatch’s competitive presence. However, Blizzard’s new division could just be a way for the company to keep tabs on the quality control of all Overwatch tournaments, media and advertising. Only time will tell how or if this new move will impact  MLG’s future. Be sure to check back on Gigamax soon for the latest gaming industry developments.

For more, take a look at the complete Press Release from Blizzard

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Sources:

https://pvplive.net/c/blizzard-forms-new-division-to-oversee-overwatch-l
http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-integrates-mlg-to-form-new-esports-division-dedicated-exclusively-to-overwatch/
http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/gaming/802496/Overwatch-World-Cup-2017-Group-UK-USA-Blizzard

Call of Duty: WW2 Marketing Materials Leak Details

Call of Duty: World War 2

Activision recently revealed Call of Duty: WW2 will be the next entry in the long running series. Following the announcement, more details about the popular FPS by Sledgehammer Games were leaked.

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Marketing materials for the game seemingly show a Friday, November 3rd release date. This is unsurprising considering the past entries in Call of Duty were all released on Fridays instead of Tuesdays. Also revealed was a vague story description.

“Land in Normandy on D-Day and battle across Europe through iconic locations in history’s most monumental war,” reads a line from the game description. It continues with “Experience classic Call of Duty combat, the bonds of camaraderie, and the unforgiving nature of war against a global power throwing the world into tyranny.” The leak also shows that the game will focus on the bond between soldiers that before the war, had never known each other.

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Classic CoD Multiplayer

Multiplayer will be handled much like the other Call of Duty games, with battles set across many iconic locations from World War II. The leak also mentions that players will feature a new way for players to communicate with each other but as of now there are no details on what that could be.

There will also be a co-op mode that features an original story that is separate from the standard campaign. Activision had tried this once before with their previous entry, Black Ops III.

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All of these details have yet to be confirmed by Activision, although a live stream of the game with more details is scheduled for this week. Make sure to keep checking back with Gigamax for more details on the game as they’re released!

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