How Activision Blizzard Could Make Billions -- With Free Games

Destiny, the new title that Activision Blizzard is set to launch in September, retails for $60 and will likely rocket into a billion-dollar video game brand. But the company could actually make as much - or more -- through a major push into the free-to-play gaming model over the coming years.

Activision has already tiptoed into that business, Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos notes in the video below. Its new Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft title requires no up-front payment to get started, but instead processes small charges from players who want to speed along their progress. 


Hearthstone is a card-collecting game from Blizzard. Source: Activision-Blizzard.

The title seems like a hit already, as Hearthstone has attracted millions of players and strong engagement and spending trends, according to the company. But that's really just the start for Activision: Hearthstone will soon expand to tablets and smartphones, and the company has two additional promising free-to-play entries on the way: Heroes of the Storm and Call of Duty Online.

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The article How Activision Blizzard Could Make Billions -- With Free Games originally appeared on Fool.com.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Activision Blizzard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Ben Bosmans

Correction on the article. ATVI does not publish Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard does.

As such, Blizzard only produced games for "geeks" with a real emphasis on the hardcore. You know the guys who play from 3 to 10 hours a day, mostly one game for extreme long periods.

To get to that massive lucrative market of "billions" they have to cater to the casual crowd too. Mr/Ms Average playing for 15 minutes a day on their iPads and feeling good about it. Hearthstone has a great potential ... BUT at the moment Blizzard adresses it from a too hardcore point of view. Harsh PvP competition, a monthly reset of rankings, tournaments for the nerds etc...

As it now stands a friendly noob dipping into this card game will get his head handed to him/her in 2 minutes playing. Over the internet every new player is complaining about the game being too harsh and frustrative playing against the "no lifers". Enforced by the fact the match making in "open play" is rather bugged atm. I too was constantly seeded against top 10 ranked players with a mediocre top 20 rating (you can control this by simply inviting opponents after the matches and control their ratings).

So Blizzard has to change their attitude to these games: go far more casual before becoming the next Angry Birds (by including Player vs AI instead of going to the harsh Player vs Player type of games).

February 24 2014 at 1:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply