Activision Blizzard generated $2.08 billion in revenue from mobile games and ancillary sales over the course of 2017, the company revealed earlier this week as part of its consolidated financial report for the final quarter of the year. Android, iOS, and ancillary sales amounted to $579 million during the three-month period ending December 31, being up 28-percent year-on-year. Activision Blizzard's mobile business grew by 30-percent annually, outpacing the company's PC unit and other non-console ventures while trailing closely behind consoles which generated $2.39 billion in 2017. Going into 2018, the firm's Android and iOS ventures are expected to continue growing and have the potential to become its most lucrative division as early as 2019, some industry watchers believe.
The record-high mobile performance is primarily attributed to King, with Activision Blizzard's 2015 purchase still boasting two of the highest-grossing smartphone and tablet games in the United States – Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga. King grew both its turnover and income, in addition to posting historic net bookings on mobile platforms, Activision Blizzard said, without providing a more specific breakdown of the unit's performance. While two of the most popular Candy Crush games continued to improve in terms of turnover, the video game developer-publisher was particularly keen to highlight the fact they were among the top ten highest-grossing mobile games in the U.S. for the seventeenth consecutive quarter. Sequentially, the Candy Crush series has seen its revenue increase for four consecutive quarters now, whereas the Sancta Monica-based company recorded over $7 billion in revenue over the entire 2017.
Activision Blizzard isn't the only major player in the industry who recently managed to significantly beef up its overall performance due to mobile games, with Nintendo largely doing the same, even though the Japanese entertainment giant has been relatively late to embrace smartphones and tablets as viable gaming platforms. No specific plans for new 2018 releases have been provided by Activision Blizzard, though recent reports suggested King has been developing a Call of Duty mobile game since at least mid-2017. The firm didn't provide a breakdown of its mobile performance by game but the Candy Crash series and Hearthstone are widely believed to be its most lucrative projects, with both generating the entirety of their revenue through microtransactions.