Activision Blizzard announced their financial results for the 2017 year and the numbers are staggering. The gaming giant brought in a total net revenue of over $7 billion. Even more ludicrous, though, is that over $4 billion of that final number was from microtransactions across their platforms.
If you’re doing the math, that means over half of their revenue last year came from loot boxes and other items of the sort, and not actual game sales. While roughly $3 billion in game sales is nothing to cry about, this has perked the ears of concerned gamers.
For the record, Activision Blizzard acquired game developer King, creator of Candy Crush Saga and other similar games, in 2016. Almost $2 billion of their microtransaction revenue came from King’s games, so all the blame shouldn’t be loaded onto games like Call of Duty. Some argue that games like Candy Crush should be put into a different category than the likes of first-person-shooters, but, for now, they remain in the overall statistics.
Even in the face of controversy, microtransactions remain an unbelievably profitable outlet for video game publishers. However, the question as to whether microtransactions are ethical in video games remains pertinent. Obviously, video game publishers are raking in the cash, so even if lawsuits are made and regulations are passed to hinder them, it’s likely that loopholes will be found to keep the lucrative facet in video games.