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Activision Blizzard Second Quarter 2016 Results Recap: IW preorders down, in-game content sales increased

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Activision Blizzard announced their second quarter 2016 results earlier and revealed some interesting details about what’s been happening in the company over the last few months. In this post, we recap all of the things they talked about.

The first thing they revealed was that Call of Duty in-game content sales were at a record high this year, driven by Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 DLC map packs and Supply Drops. They revealed that in-game content sales has doubled since last year for Call of Duty.

From May 2016 through August 2016, Activision Blizzard (the entire company, across all of the publisher’s titles) made over $1 billion just from in-game content sales. The press release notes that in-game content refers to DLC Map Packs, Loot Boxes, Supply Drops, and more. Activision also confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 continues to be the best selling next-generation console title life to date, according to NPD data.

In regards to Call of Duty esports, Activision announced that the Call of Duty World League had over 33 million views accumulated for the Stage 1 events, which is a 5 times increase compared to last year. Activision states that they anticipate that the upcoming Call of Duty World League Championship (set to take place September 1-4 at Call of Duty XP), which will feature a $2 million prize pool, will be the most watched Call of Duty esports event to date.

In regards to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Activision CEO confirmed that overall preorder numbers are down this year compared to last year. They stated that the company has made marketing adjustments, including having a huge event at Call of Duty XP to reveal Infinite Warfare multiplayer and talk more about the entire game. Activision CEO said that the team at Infinity Ward is extremely excited and proud of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Activision also confirmed that the preorders for Call of Duty Infinite Warfare’s collector’s editions (Legacy, Digital Legacy, Digital Deluxe, and Legacy Pro) are higher than any Collector’s Edition in Call of Duty, thanks to the editions including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. Activision CEO said that “Modern Warfare Remastered is the best bonus content we’ve ever offered.” They also revealed that the digital editions are doing well in terms of preorder numbers.

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Activision CEO followed up to talk more about the response to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. He said that “the more people see, the more people are getting excited,” revealing that the title won 25+ awards at E3 and has received the most positive response from press than ever before. Activision has been promoting that GameInformer awarded the title ‘Best Shooter’ at E3 across its site and social media. He also talked about the fact that, at this time last year, all of the modes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 were revealed, which resulted in higher preorder numbers at the time, and the title also had a beta as a preorder incentive. It appears that Activision believes Call of Duty XP will help give players many more details about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which might help increase the preorder numbers.

For all of Activision’s (only Activision titles, which includes Call of Duty, Destiny, Skylanders, and more), the number of active players reached a record high for this time of the year — 49 million players. Activision continues to state that monthly active users for Call of Duty has been the highest this year than ever before.

Activision also re-confirmed that the fourth DLC Map Pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will launch after the Call of Duty XP event, which takes place September 2-4, first on PlayStation 4. The company stated that fans at Call of Duty XP can go hands on with DLC 4, alongside Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

SOURCE: Activision Blizzard (and Activision Slides)

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Activision granted patent that allows players to share Call of Duty loadouts

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Activision has been granted a patent that the team filed in 2019 in references to sharing loadouts in a multiplayer video game via online social networks. The patent was granted to Activision officially on November 17, 2020.

The inventor of the patent is: David Vonderhaar. The studio design director at Treyarch.

The patent was originally filed on September 16, 2019. It’s called “Systems and methods for customizing weapons and sharing customized weapons via social networks,” according to the US Patent Office.

The main premise of this patent is to build an engine that will allow “one or more other players of the multiplayer video game” to share their custom loadouts “via at least one social network such that the one or more other players can utilize the customized weapon configuration during a gameplay session.”

This patent details every single portion of the weapon that Call of Duty considers and tracks in implementing them into the game. It looks at “weapon performance attributes, weapon appearance attributes, weapon performance statistics, and player performance statistics.” 

The massive part of this patent is the sharing aspect, which is something that could change Call of Duty and add a new layer to the social experience of the franchise. 

As reported by PCGamer, this new patent details how players could control who can see and use their loadouts. The patent explains that loadouts can be shared. It talks about customized weapon configuration and details how they can dictate the share controls. 

“A player may further specify that he or she wishes to make a customized weapon configuration available for gameplay by one or more other players. In some implementations, a user may specify that a customized weapon configuration and/or some or all of the foregoing information be made available to all players, or a subset of players including, but not limited to, friends (or followers), or team members, or other groups of players.”

Another massive part of the patent is about how players can share the loadouts. In detail, the patent describes a new engine that goes in depth to allow players to share loadouts on social media platforms, within the game itself, and more. 

This new engine will “enable a player to share weapon configurations, information about weapon configurations, and/or gameplay statistics internally (or in-game) via, for example, an in-game social network or a game publisher-centric social network accessible in-game by game players. Additionally or alternatively [it will enable players to share] via one or more external social networks (e.g., Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, etc.). In one implementation of the invention, the sharing engine may enable a player to transmit communications (e.g., email messages, text messages, or other electronic communications) that include hyperlinks or other selectable graphical user interface objects that enable recipients to access the shared information.”

This detailed patent also allows players to include messages and/or details when sharing said loadouts. Players can include “personalized text, graphics, pictures, audio, video, or other multimedia” as part of their share experience. 

Lastly, the new patent describes how players could potentially issue challenges when sharing their loadouts, and then allow others to complete or best those challenges. 

“The sharing engine may further enable a player to issue challenges to one or more other video game players to obtain or exceed certain player performance statistics, weapon usage statistics, or ratings, and/or achieve other objectives using a given weapon configuration.”

It says there’s a “Challenge Interface” that could be built allowing players to track and advance their challenges within the game’s engine. 

This would be a significant new portion to the social experience for Call of Duty, if implemented. Do note that is a patent, and patent’s don’t always end up in products immediately or in the near future. It could take some time for players to see a real in-game experience of this feature. But it’s quite interesting to see the level to which Activision can take the social experience of Call of Duty especially with Warzone and free to play experiences. 

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How to enable two factor authentication on your Call of Duty Account

Protect your account now!

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Activision has finally added an additional, much needed layer of security for your Call of Duty account.

For over a year, cross play has been the standard in Call of Duty. All of your Call of Duty purchases, rank & progression all are linked to your Activision account, or Call of Duty account. This is the account you use for crossplay and the account you’ll also be using in Black Ops Cold War to unify your rank with Warzone and Modern Warfare.

If you tend to use the same password across many accounts, or if you don’t want to risk the possibility of losing your Call of Duty account, take the following steps to protect your account.

  • 1. Go to this website to start.
  • 2. Select “Set Up Two-Factor Authentication”
  • 3. Log in to your Call of Duty account through your Activision login, or a linked PlayStation, Xbox, Steam or BattleNET account.
  • 4. Download the Google Authenticator for your phone, available on the App Store or Google Play Store. (Or use another Authentication app of your choice).
  • 5. Press the “+” icon on the top left of the Google Authenticator, and scan the QR code displayed on the page.
  • 6. Enter in the code in the Google Authenticator app to finalize the link.

After you’ve completed the process, be sure to login to your account one more time just to verify the process was correct.

Once this is done and activated, when you login to Activision or Call of Duty account, you will be asked to use the Google Authenticator passcode in addition to your regular password to login.

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Modern Warfare is now the best selling Call of Duty in its first year

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Activision Blizzard has announced it’s Q3 2020 Financial Results, which continue to exceed expectations as people move to gaming avenues during this time.

Activision has stated that generated over $1.2 billion in revenue from microtransactions across all of their titles, a new record for Q3.

The company also announced that Modern Warfare is now the best selling premium Call of Duty in its first year ever, with almost two-thirds coming digitally. Warzone also continues to see incredible success, on PC as well, with PC microtransaction sales four times higher this year.

“Our teams continue to execute our growth plans with excellence during incredibly challenging circumstances,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “We are on a path to deliver sustained long-term growth across our fully-owned franchises. With confidence in our ability to continue to execute, we are raising our outlook for the year and remain enthusiastic for our growth prospects next year.”

Activision says that monthly active users for Modern Warfare & Warzone saw “three times as many” this year compared to Q3 2019.

Here’s the higlights from Activision on the quarter, which is quite impressive:

  • Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® and Warzone™ saw more than three times as many MAUs as the prior title in the year-ago quarter. Console MAU grew strongly and PC MAUs grew over ten-fold year-over-year. Across PC and console combined, hours played were approximately seven times higher year-over-year.
  • We again saw substantial year-over-year growth in premium game sales as Warzone players chose to upgrade to the full Call of Duty experience. Modern Warfare first-year premium sales are the highest in Call of Duty’s history, with two-thirds of units sold digitally.
  • Call of Duty console and PC in-game net bookings were four times the year-ago level.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will release on November 13 into the largest and most engaged community in franchise history at the time of launch, and will support cross-platform play across PC, current-generation, and next-generation consoles. Anticipation for the release is high, with far more players engaged in the game’s public testing than for the year-ago title.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War arrives Nov. 13.

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