If you were hoping microtransactions might one day become a thing of a past in big-budget games, think again. Activision, one of the largest publishers that's ever existed, currently makes more than half of its money from in-game purchases, so it's unlikely to change its practices any time soon.
The raw numbers are eye-watering. Of its $7.16 billion revenue throughout 2017, Activision pulled in just over $4 billion from micro-transactions from within the games themselves. Although that runs the gamut from DLC purchases, to microtransactions, and loot boxes, it shows that the real money in AAA gaming is no longer in crafting a big, expansive experience for players, it's in making something that hooks them in and then selling them extras piecemeal over the months that follow.
The only caveat to this news, as PCGamesN points out, is that Activision owns mobile developer King, the one behind Candy Crush Saga and all of those similar titles. It made up $2 billion of the company's revenue in 2017, so we're not quite at a stage where every platform is a money hole of microtransactions.
We are heading in that direction though. Mobile ultimately made up 30 percent of its revenue, with PC pulling in 29 percent and consoles 34 percent. Some of that is from the game purchases themselves of course, but much less than it was in the past.
The saddest aspect of this state of the industry is that it almost seems like a good thing that DLC and extra content are big sellers still, because at least they're better than randomized loot boxes. While those extras are still a major component of Activision's revenue, as more lawmakers push to ban the practice, many gamers are hoping that at least we may see the death of that exploitative practice.