Candy Crush Bucks Mobile Gaming Slump
Mobile gaming is experiencing a global slump, following the pandemic-induced boom when people were locking down and gaming away the hours.
According to Sensor Tower data, mobile gaming revenue fell nearly 9.6 per cent during the first half of 2022, from a year earlier, to A$17 billion.
Downloads also decreased 2.5 per cent for the half-year, with the likes of Unity Software, Roblox, Electronic Arts and Take-Two reporting September financials that show the first half slump isn’t lifting during the back end of 2022.
Take-Two cut its annual forecast, in line with “a more cautious view of the current macroeconomic backdrop, particularly in mobile.” This comes after it shelled out A$16.4 billion for FarmVille creator Zynga.
John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity blamed the economy on the company’s earnings call.
“The timing here is clear: The declines take place as the world’s banks increased interest rates and the specter of recession was everywhere in the press. When we talk with our advertisers, the sense we get is clearly one of caution, and reticence to commit to the aggressive campaign spends.”
Although Activision Blizzard is currently sweating the likelihood of its A$106 Microsoft buyout being blocked by regulators, its mobile gaming studio King, maker of the evergreen classic Candy Crush, has bucked the current trends, with earnings rising 8 per cent.
Activision Blizzard reported its net mobile revenue is up A$29.8 billion year-on-year, due to Candy Crush, as well as the Chinese release of Diablo Immortal.
Diablo Immortal was successful for Activision outside of China; ahead of its July launch in the territory, the company was already touting it as the “biggest launch in franchise history” after a year, and reporting over 20 million downloads by the end of July.