In an earnings call with investors, Activision admit that the success of Fortnite has had an impact on their sales, but say that battle royale will be important for “new franchises”.
CEO Bobby Kotick concedes that “Fortnite is definitely a lot of competition right now,” but also notes its influence. “It’s been a really important catalyst in attracting new gamers to gaming.”
Kotick also suggests Activision is looking to make their own battle royale game. “When we see people innovate in an interesting and impactful way, we are very quick to figure out how to capture inspiration from innovation. We as a company, in our DNA, in our culture, when we see things that appeal to our audiences, we are very good at being inspired by those.”
While the current rumors swirling around Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 make it seem like it will be getting a battle royale mode instead of a single-player campaign, the publishers may instead look to create new IP to compete with Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. “The idea of new competition is going to be a staple for gaming,” Kotick says. “For most new franchises, this will be an important mode of play.”
However, it is possible Activision’s new battle royale games will actually be on mobile. CFO Spencer Neumann notes, “[The success of Fortnite] is highlighting the ability to successfully bring immersive gaming experiences like battle royale to mobile in both Western and Eastern audiences, or markets. And that’s really encouraging as we think about our future mobile opportunities.”
Activision have previously said that they are “keenly aware” of the success of the battle royale genre, and told investors that they are a “faster follower”.