For 2014, said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick on the investor call following its financial results
, the company expects to find "sizable financial returns on mobile and tablets," in a move that sees the company's investments in mobile and free-to-play paying big dividends.
This will be lead by Blizzard's Hearthstone
, which Kotick called Blizzard's "fourth mega-franchise," alongside Warcraft, StarCraft
, and Diablo
The company has "at least three potential groundbreaking franchises" in the works as free-to-play titles: Hearthstone
, its MOBA Blizzard: Heroes of the Storm
, and the Chinese market-targeted Call of Duty Online
, produced in partnership with Tencent
But the company isn't backing away from big console titles, of course. CFO Dennis Durkin said that Activision Blizzard remains committed to a "focused strategy of doing a few things extremely well," and one of those is launching Bungie's Destiny
, which Kotick called the "biggest new IP in our company's history."
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg underscored the importance of the company's collaboration with Bungie: "As with everything we do on Destiny
, it's a partnership, and in that partnership with Bungie our interests are completely aligned. We're building what's a 10-year franchise, and we need the best game possible."
franchise continues to be a huge success for Activision, and this year's game will come from Toys for Bob, the franchise's original developer. Vicarious Visions developed the 2013 title, Swap Force
, implying a two-year trade-off between developers, as has been standard for the Call of Duty
franchise until now.
That's changing, with Call of Duty moving to a three-year dev cycle
starting with its 2014 release, with Sledgehammer Games leading development on the title. The franchise will now be split into three sub-brands: Ghosts
, Modern Warfare
, and Black Ops
, each getting the three-year treatment, with Treyarch and Infinity Ward leading development on the series' other games, as before.