Call of Duty could get a battle royale mode when Black Ops 4 launches in October, but last player-standing shooters like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are already having an effect on Activision’s business. The publisher has also said that it has changed how it looks at mobile thanks to the success of the genre on iOS and Android.
Fortnite and PUBG are both massive megahits with millions of players, and Activision confirmed that it is feeling the tug of the arrival of these games in its financials. At the same time, the publisher notes that Call of Duty is continuing to grow.
“We’ve had some near-term impact from battle royale,” Activision chief corporate officer Dennis Durkin said. “But our business continues performing at record levels. We have one of the broadest and most diverse portfolios of franchises, genres, platforms, and business models. And we continue innovating within those existing franchises.”
Activision lowered its guidance for Q2, but that wasn’t necessarily a reflection of Fortnite and PUBG posing a risk to Call of Duty. The company’s executive team is notoriously conservative in its financial outlooks, and it would prefer to have lowered expectations that are easier to beat over the spring months.
But while the publisher deals with competition from the battle royale games, it is also looking to those games for inspiration. In particular, the company thinks Fortnite and PUBG Mobile have proven that smartphone and tablet owners want games that play more like traditional PC and console shooters.
“Battle royale is showing that core shooters can perform on mobile in the West and the East,” said Durkin. “That’s really encouraging as we think about our future mobile opportunities, and our growth opportunities generally, as gaming becomes increasingly mainstream.”
In the past, Activision released Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies and Call of Duty Heroes on mobile. Black Ops Zombies is an arcade shooter played from an overhead perspective, and Heroes is a Clash of Clans-style building and defense adventure. The company did not announce anything new, but if it comes with a new Call of Duty (or another shooter) for mobile, it may explore porting the full console/PC experience.