Mobile gaming has exploded dramatically in the last decade or so, but no other gaming industry has benefited as much as it has grown. It lends itself to astonishingly high profit margins, especially in the case of Activision Blizzard.
Activision Blizzard owns the Candy Crush IP, which is one of the most popular mobile games of all time. Whether it's due to its straightforward subject matter or its engaging gameplay loop, Candy Crush has been a major source of income for the publisher, and the company's quarterly earnings report for Q2 2022 outpaces its PC and console offerings.
Activision Blizzard acquired Candy Crush developer King in 2016, which is likely to have been one of the company's most profitable business decisions of all time. Mobile games have generated $831 million in revenue in Q2 2022 alone, which makes up 51% of its total earnings for that period. Call of Duty Mobile is almost certain to be the second-highest earner, while console titles have generated $332 million in total.
This piece of data isn't surprising on its own, but it does put mobile gaming's potential profitability in stark contrast to the rest of the industry. It's, of course, worth noting that Diablo Immortal's next quarterly earnings report will likely be even more spectacular thanks to the new Diablo game. After all, Diablo Immortal made over $100 million in just a few weeks after its release, and that's on mobile phones.
This earnings report should clarify why Microsoft was interested in buying Activision Blizzard. Despite all the controversy the publisher has faced in the last couple of years, the simple fact remains that the company is still hugely profitable and that this trend isn't expected to wane anytime soon.
Kotick previously stated that he wants to see an Xbox-funded Candy Crush game with social capabilities, which would be an interesting project to see in practice. Once the acquisition is complete, Microsoft will be interested in exploring the publisher's various profitable IPs, and mobile gaming is likely to be a major component of any future developments in this regard.