Activision executives last night spoke out on how encouraging the success of Fortnite has been for the company. Yes, you heard that right, the dominant company in the online shooter space is spinning Fortnite’s success as a positive.
Activision Blizzard’s COO Collister Johnson speaking on the battle-royale genre said: "They have 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."
"The shooter genre was already one of the largest and growing. We are already one of the largest players in that space," he pointed out, on the back of record Q1 revenue, largely thanks to Call of Duty: WWII.
"New modes that attract new players bring us new opportunities to expand our own communities and to benefit from the significant pipeline of innovation that we have planned for our franchises," he added.
CEO Bobby Kotick clarified that Activision would learn from the newcomers: "When we see people innovate in an interesting and impactful way, we are very quick to figure out how to capture inspiration from innovation. And so we as a company, in our DNA, in our culture, when we see things that appeal to our audiences, we are very good at being inspired by those."
And with Activision, Blizzard and King under his domain, it’s hard not to see the company coming up with a shooter, with strong community elements, and a mobile version. Though the company would have to bring together the expertise of more than one of its brands to achieve this to the best of it’s ability.
CFO Spencer Adam Neumann did admit that battle-royale games had impacted revenue to some degree: "So yes, we’ve seen some near-term impact from Battle Royale. But as you heard on the call today, our business continues to perform at record levels."
He then added the potential for expansion both into younger demographics and into eastern markets.
"It’s not only bringing the younger audiences and millions of new gamers that both Coddy and Bobby mentioned into the shooter genre, where we’re already a leader in the space, but importantly, it’s also highlighting the ability to successfully bring immersive gaming experiences like Battle Royale to mobile in both Western and Eastern audiences… And that’s really encouraging as we think about our future mobile opportunities and our growth opportunities generally as gaming becomes increasingly mainstream."
So Activision doesn’t look to be taking the success of battle royale lying down, whether we see an outright reaction to that in Black Ops 4 this month, or if it’s a longer-term plan to draw players to its own titles remains to be seen.