Here's How Much Microtransactions Make For Activision And Take-Two

Microtransactions are big business.

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Both Activision Blizzard and Take-Two held their latest earnings reports on Thursday, and both companies disclosed how much money they make from microtransactions.

For the calendar year ended December 31, Activision Blizzard made $3.37 billion from microtransactions, which the company calls "in-game net bookings." For the three-month quarter ended December 31, Activision Blizzard made $1.09 billion from microtransactions.

For comparison, Activision Blizzard made $4.203 billion from microtransactions during calendar year 2018 and $1.204 for the final three months of that year. Those are drop-offs of 20 percent ($837 million) and 10 percent ($119 million), respectively.

In-game net bookings also include sales of downloadable content, in addition to microtransactions. Activision Blizzard is one of the world's biggest video game publishers, and the company owns the mobile gaming giant King, which makes microtransaction-rich mobile games like Candy Crush.

But it's not just mobile games that are pulling in big money from microtransactions for Activision Blizzard. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's microtransaction revenue grew by a "double-digital percentage" compared to Black Ops 4, Activision Blizzard said. Unlike previous entries in the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare features a Battle Pass system that allows players to spend real money to move up through its various tiers to unlock new content.

Moving to Take-Two, the company calls its microtransactions "recurrent consumer spending," and this includes things like virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases. Revenue from recurrent consumer spending jumped by 15 percent during Take-Two's latest quarter. It made up 37 percent of Take-Two's total GAPP net revenue of $930.1 million, which works out to around $344,137,000 for microtransactions specifically.

One main driver of microtransactions sales for Take-Two is Grand Theft Auto Online. Microtransaction sales for this game grew by 54 percent during the quarter, management said, though it did not share a specific revenue figure for the game. Looking ahead, the company said it expects microtransaction spending to continue to grow by 10 percent in the coming financial year, thanks in part to ongoing sales from microtransactions.

Last week, Electronic Arts made its own announcement about microtransactions. It made nearly $1 billion from microtransactions during its latest quarter, and more than $2.5 billion from microtransactions during the trailing 12 months.

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