Here’s what supercharged Activision and Take-Two’s mobile earnings


Activision and Take-Two’s huge Q322 mobile earnings raised quite a few eyebrows this week.

Why? Because both companies’ Q322 financial reports state that they earned more revenue from mobile than PC and console combined.

So we took a closer look at what is driving this change, with the help of Sensor Tower analyst Dennis Yeh and Appmagic’s IAP revenue data.

First, let’s have a look at Activision’s top performers:

Top Activision games by Q322 revenue:

  • Candy Crush Saga ($316.8m)
  • Diablo Immortal ($212.2m)
  • Call of Duty: Mobile ($89.4m)
  • Candy Crush Soda Saga ($72.9m)
  • Hearthstone ($18.6m)

Diablo Immortal’s spectacular launch is the big story here, undoubtedly. It has blazed past Call of Duty: Mobile to be Activision’s second-top earner after its staggered launch in June and July.

It’s unlikely to repeat those launch figures ever again, of course, so it’ll be fascinating to see where it sits in the rankings next quarter as it settles into life as a live title.

That’s not the only story though – Candy Crush Saga was up too, says Sensor Tower analyst Dennis Yeh.

“The success of Diablo Immortal has bolstered the consistency of Candy Crush Saga, which itself saw in-app spend in Q322 up 18% year-on-year while also seeing consecutive quarters of sequential growth in a tough macro environment,” he told us.

“However, Call of Duty Mobile, like other shooters, seems to have been more impacted by the reopening post-pandemic. Overall, Activision’s mobile portfolio helped to bridge a lull in the company’s other offerings to this quarter’s major launches.”

Outside the top five, King’s puzzle portfolio dominates. Top Q322 earners after those top two Candy Crush titles include Farm Heroes Saga ($5.2m), Bubble Witch 3 Saga ($2.4m), Candy Crush Jelly Saga ($2.1m), Pet Rescue Saga ($2.1m) and Candy Crush Friends Saga ($2.1m). 

Top Take-Two/Zynga games by Q322 revenue:

  • Empires & Puzzles ($65.2m)
  • Toon Blast ($60.6m)
  • Merge Dragons! ($34.5m)
  • Toy Blast ($30.3m)
  • Zynga Poker ($23m)

These top five earners combined only account $213.6m of the total stated $730m mobile revenue reported by Take-Two on Monday, showing the breadth and diversity of Zynga’s portfolio compared to ABK’s handful of heavy-hitters.

“The top five titles by revenue and player spend are the same as a year ago,” says Yeh. “The company’s top titles by spend are down significantly from pandemic-driven highs with Toon Blast in particular down over 32% YoY.”

Other Zynga titles outside of the top five in Q322 include Wizard of Oz Slots ($5.9m), Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells ($5m), Hit It Rich! ($4.8m), Golf Rival ($4.2m), Game of Thrones Slots ($4.2m), Words With Friends ($2.9m), CSR 2 ($2.8m) and FarmVille 3 ($1.9m).  

Add in contributions from portfolio titles at Nordeus ($16m), Socialpoint ($12.9m), 2K ($11m) and Playdots ($9.6m) and you’re still only about halfway to that stated $730m.

The big missing contributor here, of course, is the ad dollars from hypercasual arm Rollic, which accounts for a huge chunk of Take-Two’s total $730m mobile revenue.

“New downloads stabilised as the hypercasual space continues to digest the Apple IDFA/ATT changes earlier this year,” says Yeh. “Total new downloads in Q322 are up 2% year-on-year and flat quarter-on-quarter. For Rollic in particular, downloads were up 6% quarter-on-quarter after Q222 saw the first sequential decline in new installs.”

“Rollic was a bright spot, especially in the context of major declines in hypercasual new installs over the past two quarters.”

Yeh concludes that Take-Two/Zynga’s Q322 “was at best a mixed bag”, though the diversity of the portfolio was a big plus.

“The company’s traditional high performers were more heavily affected by the overall normalisation in gaming, dragging down the topline. In addition, the company’s varied portfolio includes genres more resilient to normalisation such as social casino. The company’s social casino portfolio was down 5% YoY compared to 18% for the remainder of the portfolio.”

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